1992 Rakow Commission Artist: Jacqueline Irène Lillie

Jacqueline Irène Lillie (1992)

Neckpiece - Jacqueline Irène Lillie


Jacqueline Irène Lillie (French, b. 1941)
Austria, Vienna, 1992
Glass filaments, glass beads, knotted silk
Diam: 28.8 cm
92.3.47, 7th Rakow Commission

Internationally recognized for her innovative, sculptural work in beads and mixed media, Jacqueline Lillie is the first artist to receive a Rakow Commission for jewelry. Originally inspired by the early 20th century jewelry produced by the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops), Lillie’s interests have expanded to include African and native American jewelry, Russian Constructivist painting and graphics, Art Deco design, and the wide-ranging products of the Bauhaus. Her intention, she says, is not to revive earlier styles but to “produce work that reflects attention to minute detail and a subtle use of color.”

Lillie’s jewelry often takes the form of neckpieces or brooches constructed of single or multiple beaded spheres, ovals, and squares that she combines with %%metal%%. She also makes beaded bracelets and other articles of adornment. Her beading is characteristically tightly woven, usually in geometric patterns. The Rakow Commission neckpiece is an unusual work for her in that she combines two distinctly different types of glass products: fiberglass monofilament and glass seed beads. The layers of glass fibers and multicolored beads are reminiscent of the lengths of trade beads strung on raffia palm fibers that are commonly found in West Africa. Yet, her necklace is a contemporary statement that emphasizes the versatility of glass, a material both traditional and modern.