from the editors

43rd Anniversary

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
— Edgar Degas

Dear Ornament Reader,

Unique and absorbing discoveries are to be found everywhere in our current issue. We invite you to sit back and enjoy this informative and beautiful presentation, filled with the art of the handmade. If you can’t spend a day at The Met, spend it with us, as Carl Little takes you through two current exhibitions: “Royal Crests from Western Cameroon” and “Crowns of Vajra Masters.” Carl joked that the exhibitions were a bit difficult to track down given The Met’s huge physical resources, but with Ornament at your side we will take you there.

      Also in New York, and to keep you warm from the lingering winter cold, is “Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress,” at The Jewish Museum, on NYC’s Museum Mile. Situated in an environment inspiring reflection, the exhibition quietly and steadily illuminates the diversity and complexity of Jewish identity and culture through its many forms of dress, with roughly one hundred examples. We thought that “Veiled Meanings” especially succeeded as it invites questions about how we live, and do so with respect, tolerance and accommodation in this troubled world. Every day we live is another day to
raise questions about these deeply important social issues—as again we are being challenged in the current moment. 

Depending on where you live, you can crisscross the country, fly into Seattle for some great cultural experiences, then in less than an hour, ride a ferry over to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art where you can view “Nadine Kariya: The Hammer and the Peony,” an exquisite exhibition assembled by the museum’s chief curator, Greg Robinson. The vitality and individualistic presence of Kariya’s jewelry, dating from the 1970s to the present, is evident in piece after piece. As Robin Updike reviewed for Ornament: the show “evokes the idea that work—-skilled, diligent, physical work—is required to create beauty.” And beauty brings us joy and a sense of place and belonging in this interconnected world. 

If you need to take a break from all this abundance, rejoin us soon and find out more about artists Wendy Stevens and Genevieve Yang, ancient Nubian mosaic face beads, art historian Aileen Ribeiro, and an excellent window into the Wheelwright Museum’s exhibition “Beads: A Universe of Meaning.” We’re looking forward to seeing you again, for more riches to take your breath away and to stimulate your intellect and spirit.


With our best wishes,