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DMA Acquires Collection Of Modern and Contemporary Jewelry, Featuring More Than 700 Works by Internationally Acclaimed Artists


The Rose-Asenbaum Collection Elevates the DMA To One of the Foremost Jewelry Collections in the World

The Rose-Asenbaum Collection Elevates the DMA To One of the Foremost Jewelry Collections in the World

The Dallas Museum of Art has announced the acquisition of the Rose-Asenbaum Collection, an exemplary group of over 700 pieces of modern studio jewelry created by more than 150 acclaimed artists from Europe and around the world. The Rose-Asenbaum Collection includes a broad range of works from the 1960s through the end of the century. It contains particularly strong holdings of jewelry designed by Georg Dobler, Emmy van Leersum, Fritz Maierhofer, Hermann Jünger, Daniel Kruger, Claus Bury, Peter Skubic, Francesco Pavan, Gert Mossetig, Anton Cepka, and Wendy Ramshaw, and reflects the diverse styles, techniques, and materials that defined the studio jewelry movement in the latter half of the 20th century.

The collection is named for Inge Asenbaum (b. 1925), a celebrated Viennese gallerist, collector, and seminal figure in the field of design and jewelry. Her collection, which she amassed over four decades, was purchased by Dallas-based philanthropist and long-time DMA supporter Deedie Potter Rose in 2014 as a gift to the Museum. A DMA trustee since 1988, Rose has made innumerable contributions, including serving six years as Chairman of the Board. In 2005 Rose and her husband, Edward W., and fellow collectors Marguerite and the late Robert Hoffman and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky jointly pledged their private collections as an irrevocable bequest to the DMA, offering an important new model of community philanthropy within the museum world.

The acquisition of the Rose-Asenbaum Collection was coordinated at the direction of Kevin W. Tucker, the Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts & Design at the DMA, and joins the Museum’s superlative holdings of modern design objects in other media as well as complements its Greek and Etruscan, African, pre-Columbian, and Indian jewelry. As an important new component of the Museum’s international collections, modern jewelry will greatly enhance the ability to portray the richness and depth of artistic enterprise through the very personal medium of “wearable art.” Selections from the Rose-Asenbaum Collection will go on public view at the DMA this summer as a new part of the ongoing exhibition Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present. In 2015 the Museum will add the two-year position of Jewelry Research Associate to its curatorial staff to prepare the collection and associated archive for publication and a more comprehensive installation of the collection and related jewelry holdings.

“The Rose-Asenbaum Collection is a distinct and exciting addition to the DMA’s growing jewelry collection and will serve as an important resource for our exhibitions and programs for years to come,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “As we continue to expand our Decorative Arts & Design department, the Rose-Asenbaum Collection will be essential in supporting the DMA’s scholarship in this field of study, strengthening the understanding and experience of modern and contemporary jewelry as a compelling genre within the broader contexts of sculpture and painting. We are extraordinarily grateful to Asenbaum for her commitment to the field, and to Deedie Rose for her generous gift of this collection to the Museum.”

“Through refinement, experimentation, and innovation, the artists represented in this collection have reimagined jewelry beyond its origins as conventionally precious and personal objects to transform them into works layered with meaning. The Rose-Asenbaum Collection provides special resonance with the DMA’s collections of modern and contemporary art as, freed from the usual constraints of design for practical function, these artists could and did explore conceptual issues questioning not just style and materials but the very role of the objects they were creating,” said Tucker.

Inge Asenbaum’s passion for design led to the creation of one of the world’s most significant collections of modern and contemporary jewelry. Her collection reflects major pivotal moments in the evolution and development of jewelry as an art form, including the New Jewelry Movement of the 1970s, when many artists such as Gerd Rothmann, Gijs Bakker, and Fritz Maierhofer began experimenting with unconventional materials like cardboard, felt, wood, plastic, and found objects; the 1980s, when artists like Georg Dobler, Giampaolo Babetto, and William Harper continued their exploration of jewelry as a sculptural object; and into the 1990s. The collection includes extensive holdings of Central European artists, particularly those from Germany and Austria.