Racine Art Museum
Press Release

Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Art Jewelry/Sculpture to Wear

Open now until February 3, 2019, Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Art Jewelry/Sculpture to Wear includes brooches, neckpieces, and earrings made of both precious and non-precious materials.

By - Jul 5th, 2018 08:03 am

Racine, WI  July 5, 2018 – As of July 1, Racine Art Museum (RAM) is dedicating all of RAM’s galleries to artwork given by collector Karen Johnson Boyd (1924-2016) to honor her lifelong commitment to supporting the arts. Karen Johnson Boyd did not just collect art, she wore it. While her attention to ceramics and fiber is well-documented, her notice of and appreciation for contemporary art jewelry deserves further exploration as well. Open now until February 3, 2019, Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Art Jewelry/Sculpture to Wear includes brooches, neckpieces, and earrings made of both precious and non-precious materials.

Similar to her other collecting areas of interest, she would make intuitive decisions and acquire what appealed to her. While she did not wear everything in equal measure, she was often adorned, favoring brooches over other forms of jewelry. Mrs. Boyd’s admiration encompassed artists who used gold and silver along with non-precious materials, such as found objects, wood, shell, titanium, and crystals.

Mrs. Boyd’s gifts to RAM include an enamel and mother-of-pearl necklace and earring set by landmark jeweler, Earl Pardon; glass bead neckpieces by recent MacArthur Fellowship winner Joyce Scott; and a colorful acrylic brooch by British jeweler, Peter Chang.

Interested in collecting nationally and internationally, Mrs. Boyd often turned her attention to artists that were based close to home also. She collected Wisconsin metalsmiths and jewelers Ken Loeber and Eleanor Moty in such depth that they are being shown in the current large exhibition, Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Collecting In-Depth at Home and at RAM. Mrs. Boyd’s advocacy of Loeber’s work in particular resulted in her establishment of an archive for the artist at RAM. Currently, Loeber is documented by 49 examples, including brooches, neckpieces, serving ware, and puzzle boxes representing his career path from 1970 through 2013.

Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Art Jewelry/Sculpture to Wear is made possible by: Platinum Sponsor – Friends of Fiber Art International and Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor – Tom and Irene Creecy and the Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation; Gold Sponsors – David Flegel, Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, Diane and Richard Ruffo, W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors – Andis Foundation, Evinrude Outboard Motors, Lucy Feller, Racine Community Foundation, Racine County, Real Racine, Runzheimer International Ltd., Twin Disc, Bill and Mary Walker, Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors – Burlington Graphic Systems, Inc., CNH Industrial, John Cram and Matt Chambers, David and Ellen Easley, Educators Credit Union, Fredrick and Deborah Ganaway, William Guenther, Knight Barry Title, Inc., Dorothy MacVicar, The Norbell Foundation, Janna and Dr. Edward Waldeck, Walmart; Media Sponsor – 88NINE Radio Milwaukee

Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture, and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent-led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon – 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $7 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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