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Brooch, (untitled), 1912
Georg Jensen
Brooch, (untitled)
Georg Jensen,

Brooch, (untitled),
1912

Georg Jensen
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
  • (untitled) Georg Jensen Brooch
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Listen to the text
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Through the purposeful selection of materials, the Danish artist and craftsman Georg Jensen (1866–1935) made the Art Nouveau jewelry pieces he designed into affordable products. This elegant silver brooch set with opals depicts the geometrically ordered arrangement of a flower head.

Inspired by complex stamens such as those of the passion flower, Georg Jensen connected the delicate openwork eight-lobed rosette into a star shape using small bars. He achieved depth through the layering of two offset quatrefoil elements, from the center of which a moving pendulum prominently dangles. The opals ideally reinforce the kinetic effect, with the reflections of the semiprecious stone emerging from the black of the interstices making the piece a feast for the eyes. The son of a knife grinder, Jensen began learning the craft of goldsmithing at the age of fourteen and subsequently studied sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts until 1892. His ceramic figurines were quite well-received, but in order to earn a living he went to work at the prestigious porcelain firm of Bing & Grøndahl. He tried his hand at founding his own pottery studio, and later worked as a silversmith in Mogens Ballin’s Copenhagen metal workshop. There, as the supervisor for thirty workers, he gained the necessary experience to found his own silversmithing workshop, which he did in 1904. The same year, he attracted a great deal of attention with the exhibition of 110 of his pieces at the Kunstindustrimuseet in Copenhagen. At his stand, a critic wrote, one could purchase “cheap and mass-produced silverware with a perfect artistic expression.” In fact, in the early years, Jensen produced his works entirely by hand. He later used a punch press—for example, for the front faces of brooches—in order to meet the great demand. Nevertheless, a great deal of manual work was necessary to complete a finished product. After 1904, production at Jensen’s factory was in full swing, and he soon found it necessary to expand, opening branches in Berlin, London, and on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Collaborations with artists and designers have proven to be a consistently successful concept to this day. (Sabine Flaschberger)

Brosche mit Anhänger, 1912
Entwurf/Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Material/Technik: Silber; Opal
9.9 x 6.3 cm
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture, Georg Jensen Jewelry, New York 2005.

Image creditso

Brosche mit Anhänger, 1912, Entwurf/Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Brosche, Design Nr. 94, 1914, Entwurf/Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Zuckerschale, um 1910, Entwurf/Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Terrine, 1952, Entwurf: Magnus Stephensen, Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Kelch, 1912, Entwurf/Ausführung: Georg Jensen
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Georg Jensen Katalog, um 1908–1912, Fotografie: Bruce White
Abbildung: David A. Taylor (Hg.), Georg Jensen Jewelry, New Haven 2005 / The Georg Jensen Archive

Georg Jensen (stehend) mit Lehrlingen im Atelier in Kopenhagen, um 1909
Abbildung: David A. Taylor (Hg.), Georg Jensen Jewelry, New Haven 2005 / The Georg Jensen Archive

Exhibition texto
Jewelry

The traditional German word for jewelry, Geschmeide, comes like the Middle High German gesmide (metal, jewelry) and the Old High German smida (metal) from the Germanic term smi (work in metal). But the art of making jewelry is not confined to skillfully working various metals. Bernhard Schobinger’s (b. 1946) earrings made from dowels, Marietta Meier-Bättig’s (b. 1966) horsehair bracelet, the bicycle tube necklace by Regula Wyss (b. 1948), and the bottle cap collar crafted by Verena Sieber-Fuchs (b. 1943) all attest to a surprisingly versatile use of materials in this field.