Sep 16, 2021
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Sotheby's opens exhibition showcasing Black jewelry designers

Sep 16, 2021

Sotheby’s New York is set to premiere on Friday its first exhibition to exclusively feature Black jewelry designers. 

Sotheby's opens exhibition of Black jewelry designers. - Facebook: MATEO New York

Dubbed 'Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance', the exhibit opens to the public until September 26, followed by a sale that runs in person and online until Oct. 10, will highlight 21 Black jewelry designers on a global stage. 

In total, it features 63 works, including both signature pieces and custom creations made exclusively for the exhibition. The exhibiting designers include the top Black jewelry makers working today, as well as historic jewelers Art Smith and Winifred Mason Chenet.

Artists include Harwell Godfrey, Shola Branson, Winifred Mason Chenet, Lorraine West, Marei New York, Mateo New York, Lola Fenhirst, Jariet Oloyé, Maggi Simpkins, and Shola Branson. All the while, the featured styles are extremely diverse ranging in price-points reaching $1 million and made from various skill and techniques. 

The initiative was pioneered by Black jewelry author, editor, and stylist Melanie Grant, following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. She had a goal to spotlight talented Black designers with a focus on one-of-a-kind pieces. 

When she shared the idea with Sotheby’s director of jewelry, Frank Everett, the wheels were set in motion almost immediately.

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