By Michelle Graff
Lucretia McMurtrie Bush (American, 1867-1953), one of nine women featured in a new Museum of Fine Arts, Boston exhibition, created this gold, turquoise and pearl brooch. It is from the collection of Aram and Rosalie Berberian. (Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Boston—An exhibition recently opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston celebrating jewelry made in the city in the early decades of the 20th century.

“Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork” opened Nov. 17 and runs through March 29, 2020 in the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (gallery No. 104).

Spanning from 1880 to 1920 in North America and Europe, the Arts and Crafts movement emerged as a reaction to the dehumanizing effects of industrialization; people wanted to make objects, including jewelry, by hand again.

It was a philosophy as much as an artistic movement and when it came to jewelry, designers chose metals and gemstones for their aesthetic properties, rather than their intrinsic value.  

Boston, the MFA said, was one of the most active and influential cities when it comes to jewelry and metalwork during the Arts and Crafts era.  
For the “Boston Made” jewelry exhibition, the museum curated pieces made in the city between 1900 and 1929, when the stock market crashed and the onset of the Great Depression brought jewelry-making in the city to an end.

The MFA said it is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Arts and Crafts metalsmiths in Boston and emphasizes the work of the newly empowered women of the time.

20181129 Boston MFA necklace grayMFA necklace: Jeweler and enamellist Frank Gardner Hale (America, 1876-1945) designed this gold, green garnet, sapphire and opal necklace. It is part of The Susan Donald Collection and is on display now at the Boston MFA. (Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
A total of nine women artists are featured, including prominent U.S. Arts and Crafts metalworkers Josephine Hartwell Shaw (1865–1941), Elizabeth Copeland (1866–1957) and Margaret Rogers (1868–1949).

“Boston Made” features more than 75 works total—jewelry as well as tableware, decorative accessories and design drawings.

To buy tickets or for more information, visit

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