Mary Schimpff Webb to Receive the FSG Metalsmiths Hall of Fame Award November 21 2014
The Florida Society of Goldsmiths and Arts on Douglas will present acclaimed jeweler, Mary Schimpff Webb, with the FSG Metalsmiths Hall of Fame. Webb was chosen by a committee of prominent artists, educators, and arts administrators in recognition of her exceptional career and contribution to metalsmithing. An award ceremony and reception will take place at Atlantic Center for the Arts: Pabst Visitors Center & Gallery on Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 4-5:30pm. Attendees will have an opportunity to view a selection of Mary Schimpff Webb's award-winning De Beers International pieces, as well as never-before-seen works from her private collection. The event is free and open to the public, although an RSVP is requested. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Meghan Martin at 386-428-1133.
Mary Schimpff Webb is revered for her fluid, highly sculptural, and textured wearable works of art that combine precious and semi-precious stones with gold, platinum, silver and bronze. Webb developed her skills while working with her late mother Frances Schimpff who was also an accomplished jewelry designer and artist. The mother and daughter team quickly established a reputation, placing them at the forefront of the American Modernist jewelry movement. Together they introduced many innovations into the art form. The Schimpff’s were among the first artisans to pair precious and semi-precious gems in contemporary jewelry making. The designs were unconventional and innovative like their modernist counterparts. The pair was frequently recognized for their exceptional talents, earning many prestigious awards honors throughout their careers. Some career highlights include being a four-time winner of the De Beers Diamonds International Award for Unusual Design, membership to the exclusive Diamonds International Academy, and an invitation to participate in an annual traveling exhibition featuring repeat De Beers Diamonds International winners.
Over the years, Webb’s unique work has set her apart from other jewelry makers. Her work is handcrafted, including the gems she often shapes herself. When beginning a new piece, Webb draws much of her inspiration from nature. “I create from these ideas and never run out of them. Ideas are everywhere, the shape of clouds, structures and even blades of grass,” stated Webb. Having such a keen sense of her natural surroundings has imbued her work with a special quality. During her prolific career, Webb has continued to challenge herself with new styles and techniques to apply to her work and has firmly established herself as a fine craftsman of modernist jewelry.
Webb's work has appeared in numerous books and magazines on jewelry making including, Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960: The Wearable Art Movement, The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets, The Penland Book of Jewelry: Master Classes in Jewelry Techniques, Art in America and American Craft magazine among others. Webb has taught workshops at Wild Acres in North Carolina for the Southeastern Federation of the Gem and Mineral Society, the Museum of Art - DeLand, Florida, and Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.Webb is a past president of the N.E. Chapter of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths, a group she and her late husband co-founded. Webb has exhibited her work at the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Museum of Art- DeLand (formerly the Deland Museum of Art), the Orlando Museum of Art. Her wearable works of art are included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Mary Schimpff Webb has been represented by Arts on Douglas since 1996, where her jewelry designs have been showcased in annual solo exhibitions for the past 15 years.