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Past Exhibitions

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Necklace by Earl Pardon

Earl Pardon’s Portable Art: Jewelry and Design

February 7–June 7, 2015

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Brooch by Earl Pardon

Earl Pardon (American, 1926-1991)
Brooch, ca. 1990
Sterling silver, 14K and 24K gold, enamel, abalone, rhodolite, blue topaz, and amethyst
Collection of Martha and Pat Connell
Photo: Michael McKelvey

This exhibition presents a rare display of more than 100 works by celebrated Southern-born American designer Earl Pardon. On view will be 88 pieces of Pardon’s jewelry (which he referred to as his “portable works of art”) and a selection of his homeware designs, many of which have never been exhibited together. The assortment of homewares include exceptional examples of production work Pardon created as the assistant director of design for Towle Silversmiths in the 1950s.

The jewelry in the exhibition dates from the 1950s to the early 1990s and includes many pieces that reflect Pardon’s signature style and inventive use of color, form, pattern and texture. The artist’s often abstract compositions employed the full range of colors available through enameling, as well as various natural materials including abalone shell, precious metals, gemstones, ivory and ebony. Pardon’s jewelry is known for its intimate relationship with the wearer, often having elements in the design that could only be seen and understood by the individual.

Several works in this exhibition have joined the Museum’s permanent collection as acquisitions and gifts from long-time Atlanta gallerists and High supporters Martha and Pat Connell. Scholars of Pardon’s work, the Connells amassed a collection that is among the most significant holdings of his jewelry designs in existence.

Exhibition Catalogue cover

Download the Exhibition Catalogue

Explore Earl Pardon’s “portable works of art” with in-depth information and photography displaying Pardon’s signature style.

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