Sunday, February 14, 2010

velvet da vinci...

Curated by Damian Skinner

"You're going to like New Zealand and its people. American troops that have preceded you have made plenty of firm friends and thereby paved the way for you. You'll soon feel at home, particularly if you remember from the beginning that you have plenty to learn, especially from New Zealanders themselves. No warnings are needed by any man of common sense and good will."

Pocket Guide to New Zealand, 1943

During the Second World War, American troops in New Zealand were issued a concise guide to familiarize themselves with the country in which they were stationed. Published by the War and Navy Departments in 1943, Pocket Guide to New Zealand was a descriptive guide to the history, culture, peoples and language of New Zealand.

Reassuring readers that New Zealanders were a pioneering society who had been "seeing our movies, listening to our radio, and reading our magazines", the Pocket Guide to New Zealand concluded that its readers would meet "a people with some of the British reserve, with many British methods and institutions, but with American outspokenness and directness – plus a working knowledge of American slang."

Five decades later, the Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry continues this tradition of cultural exchange, introducing a new generation of Americans to contemporary jewelry made, as the original guide put it, "deep in the heart of the south seas." The Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry is an indispensable introduction to a country that continues to transform cultural influences from England, Europe and America into jewelry that American audiences will find both familiar and strange.

The exhibition travels to The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston in March 2010.

Participating artists:
Anna Wallis, Jane Dodd, Jason Hall, Peter Deckers, Fran Allison, Warwick Freeman, Areta Wilkinson, Alan Preston, Renee Bevan, Lisa Walker, Peter McKay, Lynn Kelly, Octavia Cook, Andrea Daly, Pauline Bern, Niki Hastings-McFall

At the top Fran Allison "Queen of the Bake-Off" Crown (detail)
and at the end Alan Preston "Startled Kiwi" Brooch

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