Art: Artists or Artisans?

Renaissance artists freely mixed painting, sculpture and jewelry making, largely because they depended on patrons for a living and their patrons wanted all three. Today's painters and sculptors, free of that pressure, largely shun jewelry making, uncertain whether it is an art, a trade, or merely a manner of preserving precious stones. To combat the notion that jewelry makers are not artists but artisans, London's 800-year-old Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths this month is showing the largest recent collection of fine jewelry. For every piece from Boucheron and Cartier, Harry Winston and Tiffany, there is a Calder, a Jean Arp, a Giacometti...

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