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The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art National Ornamental Metal Museum
Memphis, TN

National Ornamental Metal Museum
374 Metal Museum Drive
Memphis, Tennessee 38106
Phone: 901-774-6380 or 1-877-881-2326 (toll free)
Fax: 901-774-6382
Map

www.metalmuseum.org

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Exhibitions:


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TRIBUTARIES: TIFF MASSEY:EVERYDAY ARSENAL
Through SEP. 26, 2021
Keeler Gallery

“Influenced by Detroit’s history of ostentatious fashion, my work examines how symbols of wealth in the regalia of African diaspora affect the viewer’s behavior and attitude, eliciting an experience whereupon the viewer may encounter an object and engage in thoughts and/or acts of vanity.”
–TIFF MASSEY

Tiff Massey is an interdisciplinary artist from Detroit, MI. She holds an MFA in metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her work, inspired by African standards of economic vitality, includes both large-scale and wearable sculptures, music and performance. Massey counts the iconic material culture of 1980’s hip-hop as a major influence in her jewelry. She uses contemporary observances of class and race through the lens of an African diaspora, combined with inspiration drawn from her experience in Detroit.
PRESS KIT

DIVINE LEGACIES: IN BLACK JEWELRY
Through SEP. 12, 2021
Gasparrini Galleries

“This exhibition seeks to focus on introducing the public to the crucial biographic information and transcendent legacies of jewelers and metal artists of Black descent. Black jewelry artists have created to function in numerous contexts from art, to adornment, to manifestations of cultural identity, to examples of contemporary art and jewelry.”
–LAMAR R. GAYLES JR., CURATOR

Divine Legacies in Black Jewelry, curated by LaMar R. Gayles, Jr., explores the pluralistic histories of jewelry creation and production in the Black Diaspora of the Americas. This exhibition centers the works and lives of over twenty-five different jewelry artists to present the first survey of the history of Black Diasporic jewelry of its kind. Divine Legacies in Black Jewelry endeavors to shift public understanding of Black jewelers and their work, from visual commodities to as exemplars of material culture that present personal and individualized notions of Black cultural identity.

While the artists represented in this exhibition have varying definitions of Black identity and conceptions of how their identities relate to their work, all of them personally identify as members of the Black Diaspora in some way. Emphasizing recurring themes in the jewelry on exhibit, such as the use of symbols and cultural materials, metals, as well as gemstones and minerals, this exhibition reveals that while there are visual and conceptual similarities amongst these works, Black jewelry is not one type of object.

Divine Legacies in Black Jewelry showcases pieces from the LaMar R. Gayles, Jr. Collection alongside works borrowed from private lenders and public organizations to communicate the long-standing legacy of plurality and nuance in the transnational defining of Black identity and the formation of cultural aesthetics. This landmark exhibition is intended to be a starting point for scholars, enthusiasts, and people interested in the histories of Black jewelry makers.

To learn more about the work of LaMar R. Gayles, Jr., please visit https://pages.stolaf.edu/cis-lgayles/.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Sandy Baker
Akosua Bandele
Stephan Collins
Faith Davis
Harry Detry
Russell Ferrell
Giselle
Alicia Goodwin (Lingua Nigra)
Charnelle Holloway
Bob Jefferson
Jimmy Jones
Karen Joy
Winifred Mason-Chenet
Nii Oti
Teaty Pawoo (Art Jewelry by Sistaphyre)
Jean Baptiste Pericles
Sekou Ra
Joyce Scott
Coreen Simpson
Arthur G. "Art" Smith
Karen Smith
Janeen St. Louis
Lisette Thierry

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