Die Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum


The pieces of jewellery by Naum Slutzky (1894-1965) created between 1919 and 1924 must be counted among the most important Bauhaus goldsmithing designs. In addition to two other pieces of jewellery, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) selected this pendant in 1925 for a publication of the university's most important designs, testifying to the high esteem that Slutzky's art was held in. The pendant was lost for decades. Slutzky had given it to the Bauhaus student Else Kleinwort, in whose family it remained. The piece of jewellery was not included in Die Neue Sammlung until 2016. Its structure, composed of concentric circles, is typical of the artist. In contrast to the jewellery from the Wiener Werkstätte, where Slutzky had worked for Otto Wagner(1841-1918) in 1912 and 1913, among others, the Kiev-born artist did without vegetal motifs. He concentrated entirely on inserting the selected gemstone into an appropriate setting of rosewood, ivory and a fine silver setting and attaching it to a simple cord typical of the time. The influence of his teacher Johannes Itten's (1888-1967) theory of forms is obvious here, as is the conception of jewellery according to a fixed system that reflects the Bauhaus ideas. Slutzky anticipated fundamental aspects of modern jewellery with this methodology, the choice of unusual materials and the renunciation of unnecessary ornamentation. His pendant represents an important step on the way to studio jewellery.