Is Jewelry Art? A New Book Argues That David Webb’s Designs Are Nothing But

October 5, 2023
Robb Report

Sixty years ago, the famed jeweler wrote an op-ed piece urging readers to consider fine jewelry as art. A new tome doubles down on that argument.

In 1963, society jeweler David Webb published a column in the New York Herald Tribune titled “Why Not Hang Gems?”

David Webb

Jewelry, though more personal than paintings, should be treated as great works of art, which they surely are,” Webb wrote. “Collections of jewelry should be exhibited to the public as are other great works of art. Everyone cannot own one or more of the world’s great paintings—nor can they own great jewels—but they can and do appreciate them.”

Tragically, Webb died in 1975 at the age of 50, from pancreatic cancer, but the company he founded has carried on producing his designs, thanks to the rich archive of drawings he left behind. Despite Webb’s best efforts, however, the argument implicit in every aspect of his oeuvre—jewelry is no different from art—is still cause for debate. And the author and jewelry historian Ruth Peltason would like to settle it. Follow Roskin Gem News Report for More Updates

Tap here to read Victoria Gomelsky’s review in the Robb Report.

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