By Michelle Graff
A Matilija Poppy brooch by Tom Herman/Seven Fingers and Patsy Croft made in gold and plique-a-jour enamel. The Matilija Poppy Brooch project is the topic of a talk Herman will deliver at the 2020 ASJRA conference in April.
New York—The Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) announced the dates, location and lineup for its 15th annual conference.

It will take place on Saturday, April 4 at the 92nd Street Y, located at 1395 Lexington Ave. in New York. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Jewelry in America,” and it is open to anyone who is interested in jewelry and jewelry history. The cost to attend is $350.

Speakers and their topics include the following.

Keynote speaker: Beth Wees, “Jewelry for America.” Wees is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

John Nels Hatleberg, “An Affinity for Gems.” Hatleberg is a conceptual gem artist known for the diversity of his work with jewels and his creation of exact replicas of famous diamonds since 1987.

Jeannine Falino, “The Circle and the Line: Over 70 Years of Designs by Betty Cooke.” Falino is an independent curator and scholar who is putting together a retrospective of Cooke’s work for the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Tom Herman, “Analyzing Plique-a-Jour Jewelry by Marcus & Co. and the Matilija Poppy Brooch Project.” Herman is an artisan goldsmith.

Annamarie Sandecki, “Notably American: Tiffany & Co. Jewelry at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.” Sandecki has been Tiffany’s corporate archivist for 28 years.

Lois Sherr Dubin, “Floral Journey: Native North American Flower Beadwork.” Dubin is known for her books and exhibitions on Native American jewelry, including “North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment.” She served as an expert for a National Jeweler feature on the squash blossom necklace.

20200220 Diamond Jim BradyJames Buchanan Brady, a.k.a. “Diamond” Jim Brady, circa 1900Elyse Zorn Karlin, “The Jewelry of Peter Lindenauer,” “The Work of Robert Lee Morris,” and “‘Diamond’ Jim Brady,” (three mini-lectures). Karlin is co-director of the ASJRA, the author of several jewelry books and a freelance curator.

Jonathan Wahl, “Jonathan Wahl, Artist & Director of the 92nd Street Y Jewelry Program.” A jeweler and artist, Wahl oversees 55 weekly jewelry-making classes at the Y’s metalsmithing studios.

In addition to the conference, ASJRA also offers a study day.

It will be held on Friday, April 3 and includes a curator’s tour of the “Jewelry for America” exhibition at the Met with Wees, a group luncheon and guided tour of the Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum on the east side of Manhattan. The structure was built in 1799 and operated as a hotel from 1826-1833.

It’s limited to 25 people but as of Thursday, there were still a few spots available, Karlin said.

The Study Day is $350 as well, and a deposit is required to hold a space in either.

For more information or to register, go to

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