Jewellery Portraits

I saw this portrait of Eszter Harazty and wondered who had taken the photo. Turns out to be Eszter’s work colleague Herbert Matter. I think it’s a great portrait.

Harazty is wearing a piece of sculpture from the man who thought best in wire, Alexander Calder. Calder had begun making jewellery for his sister’s dolls and went on to make 1,400 unique pieces.

His Manhattan dealer, Marian Willard, in her 1940 press release writes: These works of art are savage and deliberate and self-confidently sophisticated…This is a master modern artist’s contribution to the history of fashion. For a world already in chains it is superb stuff.

She then wrote to Calder in 1941 saying: concerned about the lack of ‘jewels’ on the horizon at present…You will have to do prodigious work the next two months. Remember the small, well fashioned, wearable ones are what we will cash in on.

Willard sold Calder’s jewelry in her gallery for $5 to $25 a piece. Similar pieces now sell for $150,000 to $500,000.

The jewellery racket.

| Eszter Haraszty, photographed by Herbert Matter |

| Georgia O’Keefe, wearing a Calder brooch, 1950 |

Julia Ritson

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