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Black jewelry designer

I am interested in finding on Art Smith, a Black jewelry
designer from the 40s who lived in Greenwich village and did mostly
copper and silver jewelry. any would be appreciated!

Dear Hatshepsut,

The most info I have ever found is in a book titled “Messengers of
Modernism American Studio Jewelry 1940 -1960” published in 1996 by
Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts in association with Flammarion

Love the look of your site. Where are you based?

Gail Middleton
Brooklyn, NY

  I am interested in finding on Art Smith 

Art Smith is one of the artists profiled in the book titled
"Messengers of Modernism - American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960" The
book publisher is Flammarion in collaboration with the Montreal
Museum of Decorative Arts, 1996.

There are numerous websites which feature Art Smith’s work - go to
Google and search for Art Smith, Jeweler. on this website,
Metalcyberspace, the byline was included which I copied here.

Arthur (Art) Smith - b.Oct. 28, 1917 New York, NY USA - d.Feb.20,
1982 New York, NY USA

Hope this helps somewhat.


Here’s a quote from a Web site, by Marbeth Schon, who has written
extensively on the Studio Designers of the 40s to 60s:

  "The Cooper Union was one of the few institutions in mid 20th
  Century America that did not discriminate against African
  Americans (African American jeweler Art Smith received a
  scholarship from the Cooper Union in 1942) and Greenwich
  Village was one of the most racially liberal places in the
  country to live and work." 

By the way, Art Smith’s shop was on West 4th Street.

Bob Creutz
Weymouth, MA

According to Christie Romero’s “Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Edition,” Art
Smith lived from 1917-1982. He worked in silver sheet and forged
silver wire, as well as in brass and copper. He is known for his
"biomorphic" approach, i.e., use of the human body as an inspiration
for his designs. He opened a shop in the Village, a few doors down
from Paul Lobel’s (1900-1983), in 1948. Not all his pieces were
signed, but those that were, were signed in script.

I’m afraid that’s all the info I have on him. Hope some of it is
new to you.

Bob Creutz
Weymouth, MA

Hi, You might want to check out the website -
for collectors of modernist silver, or their mailing list
SilverForum, on YahooGroups, I think.

I believe Art Smith has been mentioned there, I know that others of
the Village modernists have been discussed.

Marilyn in MA

There is a little on Art Smith in the book, Messengers
of Modernism (American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960), by Toni Greenbaum
(1996; Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts; Flammarion). A nice photo
on p. 34, and several great close-ups of some of his jewelry. I like
his work (and the work of most of the other artists
featured in the book). Judy Bjorkman

Look for the book “Messengers of Modernism” is is a valuable source
of info about the studio movement and Art Smith is in there with a
photo of Art himself and some of his jewelry.It also provides a
framework of reference to his peers that only a museum publication
and a curators eye can do.

Messengers of Modernism: American Studio Jewelry, 1940-1960
Hardcover: 168 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 8.50 x 7.00 
Publisher: Flammarion; (October 1996)

Sam Patania, Tucosn

To see some examples of Art Smith’s work go to : Art would be astounded
by the prices now being asked for his work.

Joel Schwalb

I saw a very beautiful necklace made by Art Smith on Antiques
Roadshow when it was in New York City. Maybe one of the jewelry
experts on the show could give you more Louise

In searching the internet, was pretty hard to come by.
Sam Patania has a book which gives about Art Smith, but
I can’t remember the name of it at this moment. Hopefully, he will
step up with that

famous NYC silversmith Art Smith (1917-1982) I found a few links that
have some of his jewelry listed for sale.

I may have stumbled across the book in which he is featured…
Messengers of Modernism. Messengers of Modernism American Studio
Jewelry 1940-1960 Author Greenbaum, Toni ISBN 2080135937