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New Museum Exhibition - A Sterling Renaissance: British Silver Design

New exhibition demonstrates Great Britain’s status as the world’s leader for silver design. But who was the American who triggered this renaissance?

Collector John Andrew, curator of The Pearson Silver Collection, had long wondered at the cause for the extraordinary burst of creativity in British silver design from the 1960s. Research revealed that the catalyst was an American named Mrs. Lasky, who traveled to London in the late 1950s to stay with her friend Lady Alexandra Metcalfe. Wishing to see modern British silver, she visited the studio of designer-silversmith Gerald Benney (1930–2008). Upon viewing his stock items, Mrs. Lasky proclaimed they were not British, but Scandinavian. Shaken by the charge, Benney set out with four or five others to create a distinctively English silver that was “rugged, solid, and functional, but at the same time modern.” Succeeding generations of smiths further expanded the definition of British silver by adding modern techniques to the traditional processes.

Today, Great Britain continues to provide the expertise and creative environment that nurtures home-grown talent and attracts artists from around the world who contribute a diversity of influences to British silver design. With today’s silversmiths building on the foundation work of the twentieth-century modernists, Great Britain’s role as the leader in contemporary silver design in the twenty-first century is assured. The best is yet to come.

A Sterling Renaissance: British Silver Design 1957–2018 presents more than 100 items by thirty-five designer-silversmiths aged from their early 20s to their mid-80s. Special thanks to our exhibition partner John Andrew, curator of The Pearson Silver Collection; The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London; and The Incorporation of Goldsmiths, Edinburgh, for their generous participation in this exhibition.

Visit https://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/sterling-renaissance-british-silver-design-1957-2018 for more information.


A Sterling Renaissance: British Silver Design 1957 to 2018 is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from October 06, 2018 to May 12, 2019. There is no charge to view the exhibition.