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Artful Accessories: David Webb at The Norton

Jennifer Pfaff

David Webb - Society's Jeweler - The Norton Museum of Art - jewelry design

Coral Seahorse Brooch

Designed in 1966, this brooch is made out of carved coral, circular-cut diamonds, Cabochon emeralds, platinum and gold.

Photo by Ilan Rubin

   In the 1960s and ’70s, as American culture shifted into a free-spirited, say-what-you-want movement, David Webb made a bold appearance through jewelry with his design ethos “the more barbaric, the better.” Inspired by nature and global destinations, Webb used modern art, art deco and pop art techniques to create statement pieces that shouted; his signature animal bangles were more aggressive than demure, and he used gold as a prime element, rather than an accent.
   Webb’s daring jewelry grabbed attention from society circles, including Hollywood, and has left a decades-long impression that still turns heads. On January 16, the Norton Museum of Art will present the first-ever retrospective of the late designer’s creations with “David Webb: Society’s Jeweler,” an 80-piece exhibition that includes jewelry and behind-the-scenes artifacts such as concept drawings and magazine clips.

  • For more on Webb, check out a Q&A with a local mother and daughter who have each been dedicated collectors of Webb’s fierce vintage treasures for more than 30 years.
  • For more information on "David Webb: Society's Jeweler," call 561-832-5196 or visit norton.org.

Sketch and Early Design of one of David Webb's Fine Jewelry Pieces

Webb's sketches, and other artifacts, will be on display at the Norton from January 16 to April 13.

 

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