Marjan Unger: Jewellery in Context

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A multidisciplinary framework for the study of jewellery
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Jewellery in Context is the doctoral dissertation, edited by Theo Smeets in its first English translation, by the Dutch art historian and design critic Marjan Unger (1942–2018). In this work she initially endeavours to formulate a general definition of jewellery. Yet above all she also analyses to what extent jewellery is associated, across the globe, with different, sometimes contrary issues: all human fears, but also desires, have, in a sense, materialised as objects of adornment, she postulates. This comprehensive approach aimed not least at developing a solid theoretical framework to aid the study of jewellery. Thus the text can already be seen as an outright standard reference work, indispensable for all students of jewellery. However, experts, too, will discover new perspectives on the phenomenon of jewellery.

Marjan Unger (1946–2018) first studied industrial design and subsequently art history at the University of Amsterdam. Alongside teaching engagements at various Dutch universities, she was additionally employed as chief editor of the design magazines Bijvoorbeeld and Morf. Marjan Unger curated the pioneering exhibition Zonder wrijving geen glans [No Gleam without Friction] and has authored several publications.