Since its founding in 1956, MAD has been committed to collecting studio and contemporary jewelry from the United States and around the world. The Museum has acquired more than 930 pieces over the decades, and continues to avidly collect today. In 2008, as part of the move to 2 Columbus Circle, MAD opened the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, which afforded the Museum the ability to showcase part of its stellar jewelry collection in visible storage. Visitors to the gallery have access to over two hundred pieces, presented in forty-five interactive jewelry drawers.
On display are early studio pieces by Ronald Pearson, Ed Weiner, and Betty Cooke, as well as conceptual and contemporary pieces by Gésine Hackenberg, Otto Künzli, and Wendy Ramshaw, to name just a few. Other works on view include gold pieces by David Webb and necklaces by such popular designers as Diane Love, Mary McFadden, and Jacqueline Lillie.
The eighty-four artists featured in the gallery create jewelry not only from gold and silver, but also from unexpected materials such as polymer clay, phone-book pages, pig intestine, kitchen plates, and rubber bands. While our collection focuses on jewelry made in the modern era, it includes inspiration pieces from nineteenth-century Southeast Asia, which influenced many of the studio and contemporary jewelry artists working today.