Ruth Koelewyn

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Barbara Walter

Honors Reader

Dr. Elizabeth Fowler

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Visual and Performing Arts

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Art and Design | Interactive Arts


The author traces the development of modern and artistic themes in metalwork of the Western world throughout the twentieth century. The argument is that metalsmithing from 1900 to 2000 reacted to the rapid mechanization and the technological developments of the period. The results are uniquely modern, and differ immensely from the work done before the Industrial Revolution. The twentieth century was thus a period in which the styles changed dramatically but also had common themes. Through careful examination, the author points out these commonalities, and concludes that technology has pushed the field of contemporary handmade metalsmithing out of the crafts and into the realm of the fine arts.

The thesis is an introduction to twentieth-century metalsmithing, with particular emphasis on the Bauhaus metal workshop and the 1930s through the 1950s. Some information on the Art and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau is included, mainly to create a historical context for the areas of focus that follow. Information on styles and movements in jewelry from the 1960s onwards is limited, because the author believes Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and the New Jewelry movement are better covered in other articles and books than the mid-twentieth century is.

Primary sources are used wherever possible, and many references to original artworks are made.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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