Margaret De Patta 1903–1964
More than any other jewelry designer of the twentieth century, Margaret De Patta unified the visual theories of early progressive movements with mid-century design sensibilities to create jewelry that, while seemingly minimal, is built upon studied, complex relationships of light, form and space. De Patta was one of the first jewelry designers to elevate nontraditional materials beyond their humble origins—metal elements were layered to create depth, convex and faceted quartz added an entrancing range of optical effects and overall compositions were meticulous, as though they were clear, clean answers to conundrums only De Patta could see. As a student of the New Bauhaus and its populist spirit in the 1940s, De Patta also led the charge on the debate over mass-producing art jewelry, arguing that good design should be accessible.
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