In New York: An Exhibition Pairs Fine Jewelry with Antiques

By | June 3, 2024

In New York: An Exhibition Pairs Fine Jewelry with Antiques

In New York: An Exhibition Pairs Fine Jewelry with Antiques, curated by jeweler Jean Prounis and writer Camille Okhio, pairs Fine Jewelry with antiques, spotlighting Prounis’s historically inspired designs. Central to this showcase, titled “Waldglas: A Study In Prunts,” are Prounis’s new jewelry pieces, which draw on the ornamental traditions of German Renaissance glassware.

Within the historic setting of The Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village, visitors will encounter a captivating blend of 22-karat gold jewels, polished stone pendants, and curated antiques that echo the era’s textured elegance. This meticulously crafted exhibition not only highlights Prounis’s connection to her Greek heritage but also offers an escapist journey into the past, celebrating the artistic synergy between luxurious adornments and timeless artifacts.

Can you imagine finding solace in the past during these tumultuous times? If so, then you might find yourself drawn to New York’s latest exhibition, which uniquely combines fine jewelry with antiques. Let’s delve into this fascinating event that pairs modern design with historical masterpieces.

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The Essence of Historical Fascination in Modern Design

The Motivation Behind the Exhibition

Jean Prounis, renowned for her historically inspired jewelry designs, has always been enchanted by her own family history. This lifelong fascination with the past has significantly shaped her namesake jewelry line, Prounis, infusing it with a rich narrative and an unmistakable identity. Her Greek heritage and familial connections to the storied 1940s New York cabaret club, the Versailles, are prevalent in her designs. It’s this blending of personal history and ancient craftsmanship that gives her work its distinctive charm.

Prounis’s Latest Collection: Chapter VII

The unveiling of Prounis’s latest collection, Chapter VII, marks a noteworthy addition to her impressive portfolio. This collection draws inspiration from the glasswork of the German Renaissance, specifically the fascinating and ornamental krautstrunk vessels. To highlight the collection’s intricate beauty and historical context, Prounis has collaborated with writer and curator Camille Okhio to organize a special exhibition.

The Exhibition: Waldglas – A Study in Prunts

Event Details and Venue

The exhibition, aptly named Waldglas: A Study In Prunts, will take place on June 6th and 7th at The Whitney Studio in New York City. The Whitney Studio, formerly the art studio of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, adds an illustrious setting for such a historically rich showcase. The studio’s most defining feature, a fireplace with a bas-relief sculpture by Robert Winthrop Chandler, extends into a column of flames on the ceiling, creating an atmosphere steeped in artistic history.

Understanding Waldglas and Krautstrunk

Waldglas, or “forest glass,” was produced between the 14th and 17th centuries in northern Germany. This unique glass was created in woodland workshops fueled by the region’s abundant wood supply and distinguished by its green tint, a result of iron oxide impurities in the sand used for glassmaking. The krautstrunk vessels, or “cabbage stalk” vessels, became especially notable for their unique protrusions, known as prunts. These prunts were both decorative and functional, providing grip on the otherwise slippery surface of the glassware.

Prounis’s Interpretation of Krautstrunk and Prunts

Prounis has taken these historical elements and translated them into her exquisite jewelry designs. The new collection features prunts rendered in various lapidary forms, from green prasiolite to peachy antique coral, rock crystal, and jade. Her work also evokes the columnar form of krautstrunk and other Renaissance glass decorative elements, fusing historical references with contemporary aesthetics.

In New York: An Exhibition Pairs Fine Jewelry with Antiques

Camille Okhio’s Curatorial Vision

A Curated Collection of Antiques

Complementing Prounis’s jewelry, Camille Okhio has meticulously curated an array of antiques. These, too, will be available for purchase, presenting a cohesive narrative alongside the jewelry. Okhio’s vision involves the creation of an imaginary historical figure from the wood glass era, weaving a story that connects the various elements of the exhibition.

Notable Antiques in the Exhibition

  • Flemish Tapestries and Paintings: Adding a textured, visual depth to the exhibition.
  • 18th Century Pine Dower Chest: Adorned with decorative floral forms reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
  • Early-19th-Century Tabletop Boxes: Perfect for displaying or storing jewelry.
  • Queen Anne Chairs: Selected for their historical relevance and intricate woven seating.
  • Bessarabian Floral Rugs: These exquisite rugs will cover tables displaying the jewelry, maintaining the exhibition’s thematic cohesion.

Reproductions and Modern Interpretations

In addition to these antiques, the exhibition will feature historical reproductions of krautstrunk glassworks and a limited-run of prunt-inspired glass paperweights, bridging the gap between historical art and modern interpretation.

The Venue: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Art Studio

The Historical Significance of The Whitney Studio

The Whitney Studio itself is a fitting venue for such a historically resonant exhibition. Once the workspace of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, it stands as a relic of New York’s rich artistic history. The studio’s iconic fireplace, designed by Robert Winthrop Chandler, enhances the exhibition’s ambiance with its elaborate design that seamlessly integrates art and history.

A Space Ablaze with Storybook Romance

The setting not only complements the historical jewelry and antiques but also elevates the entire experience to one of storybook romance. The venue’s character and historical significance play an essential role in anchoring the exhibition in a palpable sense of history and artistic heritage.

In New York: An Exhibition Pairs Fine Jewelry with Antiques

Panel Discussion: Diving Deeper into the Glasswork Legacy

Expert Insights

On June 7th at 12 P.M., Jean Prounis and Camille Okhio will host a panel discussion featuring glass scholars Susie Silbert and Ana Matisse Donefer. This panel aims to delve deeper into the intricacies of German Renaissance glasswork, offering attendees the chance to learn from leading experts in the field and gain a richer understanding of the historical context that inspired Prounis’s latest collection.

Topics Covered by the Panel

  • Historical Techniques: Exploring the methods used in the creation of waldglas and krautstrunk.
  • Cultural Influence: Discussing the impact of German Renaissance glasswork on modern design.
  • Material Analysis: Understanding the materials and processes that lend Waldglas its unique properties.
  • Contemporary Interpretations: Analyzing how modern designers, like Prounis, interpret and incorporate historical elements into their work.

Embracing the Past for Modern Inspiration

The Intersection of History and Modern Design

Prounis’s jewelry and Okhio’s antique curation offer a fascinating intersection where history and modern design converge. The exhibition demonstrates how historical art and objects can inspire contemporary creativity, offering a fresh perspective on both the past and the present.

Jewelry Elements Inspired by Prunts

  • Prasiolite: A glassy green gemstone reminiscent of historical waldglas.
  • Antique Coral: Evoking the warmth and texture of ancient prunts.
  • Rock Crystal: Clear and pure, much like the finest Renaissance glass.
  • Jade: A forest green hue that ties back to the woodland origins of Waldglas.

The Role of Antiques in Contemporary Spaces

By seamlessly integrating historical pieces into modern settings, the exhibition encourages a reflection on the role of antiques in contemporary life. Each piece serves as a bridge to the past, adding depth, character, and a sense of continuity to our present-day environments.

Conclusion: A Celebration of Craftsmanship Across Eras

As you navigate through this exhibition, you will find yourself immersed in a sublime dialogue between history and modernity. Jean Prounis’s Chapter VII collection, inspired by the German Renaissance glasswork, and Camille Okhio’s carefully curated antiques, create a unique tapestry of artistic expression. This event is not just an exhibition; it is a celebration of craftsmanship across eras, a tribute to the timeless beauty of art and design.

By attending Waldglas: A Study in Prunts at The Whitney Studio, you are not only experiencing the exquisite jewelry of Jean Prounis and the curated antiques of Camille Okhio but also participating in a larger conversation about history, art, and the relentless human pursuit of beauty and meaning.

Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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