Earl Pardon: Palette Maestro
April 13 – August 10, 2008
at Racine Art Museum
Sterling silver, ebony, ivory, brass, and copper
Collection of Earl Pardon Estate
Photography: Murray Riss, Memphis, TN
Organized by Rosanne Raab, Curator/Lecturer at Craft + Design, this colorful exhibition presents a career survey of the work of internationally respected American metalsmith Earl Pardon from the 1950s through the 1990s. Pardon was a major contributor to the rise of American studio jewelry in the second half of the 20th century. This show brings together wearable pieces and hollowware to trace his career-long interests in color and design in metal.
Trained formally as a painter, Pardon is best known for jewelry that incorporates rich colors in both enameled metal surfaces and colored gemstones. He is often credited for playing a significant role in the revival of the art of enameling, as well as introducing enamel as a design element in industry.
Pardon served in World War II and then attended the Memphis Academy of Art for his undergraduate degree in painting and his initial training in metalsmithing. After graduating in 1951, he joined the faculty of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he remained an influential art professor until his retirement in 1988. He also served as chair of the art department from 1968 until 1977. In his varied career, he also served as Assistant Director of Design for Towle Silversmiths in the 1950s and a consultant for Old Newbury Crafters in Massachusetts from 1960 to 1969.
More About the Exhibition
Exhibition Notes (PDF)