RINGS! 1968 – 2021

January 22, 2022 — March 12, 2022
Front Gallery

Rings! 1968 – 2021 features an incredible selection of wearable pieces that capture the avant-garde notions of contemporary jewelry and represent the limitless creative potential of the ring. Throughout time, rings have signified personal and cultural connections around the world, communicating marital status, membership, and belonging, as well as marking the end of an important transition or the beginning of a new reality. Showcasing experimental materials and approaches, in addition to traditional metalsmithing techniques, the rings on view in this exhibition offer an examination of the cultural, political, and personal meanings of this timeless and ubiquitous form.

Having first opened last summer at Philadelphia’s The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design, this growing traveling exhibition features an international selection of over 100 rings. Organized by Helen Drutt, collector, educator, author, and renowned advocate of modern and contemporary craft, and researched by independent curator Elizabeth Essner with assistance from Colleen Terrell, the show highlights many works from Drutt’s expansive collection. Her collection not only serves as a historic archive of contemporary jewelry but also promotes the relevance of jewelry in today’s culture.

HCCC Executive Director Perry Price commented, “Helen Drutt has made an incalculable impact on contemporary craft, both as a collector and as the founder and director of her eponymous Philadelphia gallery. Houston is no stranger to her unique voice in contemporary jewelry, and we are honored to present this one-of-a-kind collection of rings representing work ranging from emerging makers to established masters.”


Image credits:

  1. Helen Britton, “Ghost Train,” 2009. Silver, glass, paint. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  2. Biba Schutz, “Sparkiln Ring,” 2010. Sterling silver, fine silver, 18k gold. Photo by Ron Boszko. Courtesy of the artist.
  3. Petra Zimmermann, “Ring,” 2009. Vintage costume jewelry findings, imitation gemstones, gold leaf, oxidized silver. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  4. Ted Noten, “Greed,” 2020. 3D-printed gold-plated steel. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  5. Annamaria Zanella, “Blue Caos,” 2019. Cork, titanium, lapis lazuli pigment, gold. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  6. Peter Chang, “Ring,” 2009. Acrylic, polyester, PVC. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  7. Claus Bury, “Ring,” 1970. Gold and acrylic. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection. Promised Gift of Helen Williams Drutt Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
  8. Georg Dobler, “Ring,” 1994. Amethyst and gold. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  9. Sam Tho Duong, “LOOK Ring,” 2014. Oxidized silver, freshwater pearls, nylon.  Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  10. Paolo Marcolongo, “On the Road,” 2019. Murano glass and silver. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  11. Märta Mattsson, “Inside,” 2020. Copper, beetle, cubic zirconia, lacquer, resin, silver. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  12. Debra Rapoport, “Lichee Ring,” 2021. Toilet paper roll, paint, strips of copper, twisted paper, pipe cleaner wrapped in paper, chips of dried paint, found metal washer, found metal bottle cap, dried lichee nut.  Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.
  13. Niki Sawansukha, “Ring,” 2019. Found objects, seeds, legumes, wood, lacquer. Photo by Virginia Price. Courtesy of private collection.