Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Featured Book: Art as Adornment by Charles L. Russell

Art as Adornment: The Life and Work of Arthur Smith is a splendid documentary writing about a prominent player in the Modernist Jewelry Movement.

The trade name, "ArtSmith" came to resonate with fashion and theater types in New York and all over the country during the three decades following World War II.

As a Black navigating the racial tensions of the period, Arthur Smith managed to rise above the fray and achieve extraordinary success in the development of designs for jewelry that were eminently wearable and for the wearer a decorative pizazz triumph.

With over 150 illustrations, this book will take you on an awe inspiring journey starting with his parents' migratory trek from Jamaica through Cuba and ultimately to New York City, Arthur's education in the arts, and concluding with a detailed description of his jewelry styling and creativity.

About the author:

The story was written by Charles L. Russell, a Caucasian businessman who late in Arthur Smith’s career, became fascinated with this Black man’s personality and creativity. The two lived together during the last eight years of Arthur’s life, and Charles became a member of the Smith’s “extended family.” When Arthur died, his archives and impedimenta all accrued to Charles. What was left behind contained a wealth of information and artifacts from which this saga was developed. Charles now lives in retirement in Lebanon, New Hampshire.


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