Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit features faculty, alumni

The works of several SUNY New Paltz alumni, as well as past and present members of the SUNY New Paltz art faculty, are currently featured in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Unique by Design: Contemporary Jewelry in the Donna Schneier Collection,” provides a close look at the work of 88 international jewelers hailing from 17 different countries. The exhibition kicked off May 13, and will remain on display through Aug. 31 at Gallery 909 in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for Modern and Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture at the Met.

According to a prepared statement from the Met, the pieces celebrated in the “Unique by Design” exhibit were brought to the museum in 2007 through a gift of more than 130 works from art collector Donna Schneier. The jewelry dates from the 1960s to the present, including an ebony-and-eggshell brooch by Thomas Gentile and a raw diamond and oxidized-silver ring by Karl Fritsch.

The works of SUNY New Paltz art professors Jamie Bennett and Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, as well as former faculty members Robert Ebendorf and Sondra Sherman, are included in the exhibition.

“It is quite an honor to be included in this prestigious collection,” said Mimlitsch-Gray. “’Unique by Design’ features such a wide variety of creative investigations, it’s sure to inspire the audience to consider the nature of art jewelry in contemporary culture. This collection makes evident the broadening definition of jewelry and adornment today, which is very exciting.”

“Unique by Design” also features the work of SUNY New Paltz alumni Lola Brooks ’97 (Metal), Bettina Dittlmann ’91 (Metal), Lisa Gralnick ’80g (Gold and Silversmithing), and Sergey Jivetin ’01 (Metal).

“I am thrilled and extremely proud of this beautiful and thoughtful exhibition,” said Gralnick. “It’s an honor to have my work included in an exhibition at the venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a testament to both the formidable accomplishments of the individual artists and of all of the people who have been tireless advocates for the field of art jewelry, including Donna Schneier, who assembled this magnificent collection.”

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website at