Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia
Exhibition Dates:  March 14 – November 29, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, March 13, 2015

In commemoration of the centennial of the artist’s birth, Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia is the first museum exhibition devoted to Harry Bertoia’s designs for jewelry. The former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and metalsmithing instructor has received international acclaim for his metal furniture and sculpture, but his exploration of the medium originated in jewelry design while still a high school student in Detroit. Out of the hundreds of jewelry pieces attributed to Bertoia, the majority was produced during his years at Cranbrook, and this display of over thirty works offers an early glimpse of a creative vision that would crystallize as his career matured.  Additionally, several early monotype prints are featured to illustrate how the artist harnessed the same intuitive and experimental approach to making in his planographic compositions. The objects in this exhibition highlight Bertoia’s investigations of form, dimension, and material on a concentrated and bankable scale—establishing him as a pioneer of the American Studio Jewelry movement and a master of elevating fashionable adornment to objets d’art.

The exhibition will open with an exclusive ArtMembers’ reception on March 13, from 6-8pm, featuring a lecture from Celia Bertoia, Harry Bertoia’s youngest daughter and director of the Harry Bertoia Foundation. Memberships will be available for purchase at the door that evening at half-price.​

Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Shelley Selim, the Art Museum’s 2013-2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by Wright Auction House, Kim and Al Eiber, and the David Klein and Kate Ostrove Exhibition Fund. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue published by Cranbrook Art Museum.

2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art
Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 10, 2015
Opening Reception:  Saturday, April 18, 2015, 6-8pm


Nick Cave: Here Hear
Exhibition Dates:  June 20 – October 11, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

African-American artist Nick Cave is famed for his embellished costumes titled Soundsuits staged in public spectacle. The artist conceives some as fragile sculptural totems, and others as wearable costumes designed for sound, mobility, and dance. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion, and textile design, the origin of the Soundsuit is rooted in social critique.  Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protected one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality.  As Cave’s artwork began to resonate with vast audiences, the artist saw the Soundsuits as powerful agents to capture the public imagination on a monumental scale. Cave’s artistic practice now advocates the vital importance of collective dreaming, which he actualizes through large-scale performance.

The vision for the exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum includes collections of sculptural Soundsuits and new artworks arranged in dynamic vignettes throughout the galleries.  The North Gallery will feature a new wall-based tapestry and nine Soundsuits created specifically for Here Hear.  In an additional gallery, a Map in Action room will display the wearable Soundsuits that will come and go for a performance series in locations throughout the city of Detroit.  Videos of the performances will be added to the room throughout the duration of the show, thereby becoming a living document of the entire project. 

Nick Cave: Here Hear was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.




Future Exhibitions