Modernist scholar and beloved friend. We at Macchiarini Creative Design were saddened to hear of the passing of Marbeth Schon a last month. Marbeth was both a champion and scholar of mid-century modernist metal work. Her two books: MODERNIST JEWELRY 1930-1960 “THE WEARABLE ART MOVEMENT” AND “FORM AND FUNCTION: AMERICAN MODERNIST JEWELRY, 1940-1970” are considered the definitive works on American Mid-Century Avant-Garde Jewelry.
Marbeth received her B.A. in art education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and her M.S. in valuation sciences from Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. An avid collector of mid century modern jewelry herself, she Owned a Mid-Century modernist jewelry Gallery in Natchez, Mississippi and was the owner/editor of MODERN SILVER an on-line Magazine Publication @ www.Modernsilver.Com) and hosted an on line discussion group called “The SILVER FORUM”.
In mid 2006 she was guest curator for the Fort Wayne Indiana Museum of Art’s Exhibition: : American Modernist Jewelry and the collateral show: The Modernist Movement and Beyond: The Works of Peter Macchiarini, Daniel Macchiarini, Earl Pardon and Todd Pardon which was held at the school of creative arts at the University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In February of this year, Daniel called Marbeth to touch base with her and she told him that she had had breast cancer a few years ago, had beaten it and been cancer free for two years. Unfortunately soon after this call, the cancer returned and she quickly passed away mid June of this year. A week after her passing, Daniel wrote the following tribute to this graceful Lady who will be greatly missed by all of us in the modernist art community and well beyond:
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Marbeth Schon last week. I was lucky to have known her for the last two decades when she, as a writer and historian, through the brilliant books she wrote made one of the greatest contributions to the understanding of the birth and development of modernist jewelry and metal arts in our country.
Her insights and documentation of the lives and work of metal artists of the 20th century has given this community of artists a collective recognition for their work and a true proper place of significance in the development of modernism as a major artistic movement of our time.
Personally, I will miss her cheerful voice and manner that would always projected positive feelings and an ease working with her even on difficult business issues.She was a champion of the artistic spirit! I am much better for having known her and feel a great loss for her being gone!
Tears in my eyes,
In Love and Respect,
MARBETH SCHON IN MODERNIST ART PARADISE -JUNE 2015