Objects of Affection

USD $39.95



ISBN: 978-1-913875-62-6

112 pages

292 x 222 mm (8 ¾ × 11 ½ in)

81 colour illustrations

In association with The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

May 2024


A new survey of the life, creative spirit, and career of Robert W. Ebendorf, one of America’s most important artists in the field of found-object jewellery and metalwork.

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Robert Ebendorf (b. 1938) has been one of the most influential artists in the studio jewellery movement from its beginning in the 1960s to today. His work combines exceptional craftsmanship, acquired through traditional training in gold- and silversmithing, with the inventive use of found objects and other alternative materials such as acrylic and ColorCore. Objects of Affection traces his development from the Scandinavian modernism of his early work to his first use of found objects such as tintype photographs in the 1960s; juxtapositions of coloured acrylic and precious metals in the 1970s; use of found newspaper and other textual elements in the 1980s; his pivotal incorporation of animal parts in the 1990s; and the remixing and further development of many of these approaches in the twenty-first century.

Unique features of this highly collectable volume are its special focus on Ebendorf’s work of the last two decades, his friendship with collectors Ron Porter and Joe Price, and his activities during his time in North Carolina. Also of note are the inclusion of selected works by graduates and faculty of the East Carolina University (ECU) jewellery program that Ebendorf led from 1997 to 2016; preparatory sketches by Ebendorf; and collages Ebendorf included in many of the letters and postcards he has written over the course of his career. And it is this ephemeral and archival aspect of the PorterˑPrice Collection which sets it apart from other publications on Ebendorf’s work.

Published in conjunction with the exhibition, Objects of Affection: Jewelry by Robert Ebendorf from the Porter • Price Collection organized by The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, April 27 – February 16, 2025.

Author biographies

Rebecca E. Elliot is assistant curator of craft, design, and fashion at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, where she oversees the collection of studio jewelry in addition to working with craft and design in all media. She is the co-author of Craft Across Continents: Contemporary Japanese and Western Objects (2023) and Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things (2022), is a member of, and contributing author to, the Art Jewelry Forum, and a member of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.

Toni Greenbaum is an art historian specializing in twentieth and twenty-first century jewelry and metalwork. She is the author of the seminal book Messengers of Modernism: American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960 (1996) and a contributing author to numerous books, exhibition catalogs, and arts publications. Greenbaum lectures nationally and internationally, including at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and is a on the board of directors, Art Jewelry Forum; a member of AJF Editorial Advisory Committee and former professor, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. She lives in New York.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Todd A. Herman, PhD
  • Sponsor’s Statement
  • Introduction: Making Love to Materials by Toni Greenbaum
  • Interview with Robert Ebendorf by Rebecca E. Elliot
  • The Creative Dance: Robert Ebendorf and the East Carolina University Metal Design Program in the Twenty-first Century by Rebecca E. Elliot
  • Plates
  • Interview with Ron Porter and Joe Price by Rebecca E. Elliot
  • Checklist of works by Robert W. Ebendorf in the Porter • Price Collection
  • Makers of “Bob-bles for Bob” in the Porter • Price Collection
  • ECU-affiliated makers of other works in the Porter • Price Collection
  • The Robert W. Ebendorf Collection in the Mint Museum Archives by Rebecca E. Elliot
  • Endnotes by Toni Greenbaum, Rebecca E. Elliot
  • Acknowledgments by Rebecca E. Elliot
  • Photo Credits