Object Timeline

1945

  • Work on this object began.

1955

  • Work on this object ended.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2022

  • You found it!

Pair Of Earrings

This is a Pair of Earrings. It is dated ca. 1950 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is painted and molded plastic, base metal. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Consumer choices in plastic jewelry diversified and expanded in the twentieth century and the development of plastics also yielded a wider color range. Makers experimented with surface detail to enhance visual appeal as seen here in the metallic geometric decoration. During World War II fine jewelry factories were converted to the manufacture of bullets and radio parts and plastic jewelry rose in favor. In the postwar period, plastic jewelry remained the most attainable fashion accessory for many women. Changes in fashionable shapes and styles were reflected in costume jewelry as seen here in the substantial size of these clip-on earrings that might have balanced the weight of a strong-shouldered silhouette. The rod and ball decoration on the surface was in line with designs of the period that paid homage to atomic structure that were influenced by the start of the nuclear age and to interest in abstraction that pervaded contemporary art but was quite new to jewelry design.

This object was donated by Bartholomew Voorsanger. It is credited Gift of Bartholomew Voorsanger.

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 2 × 3 cm (13/16 × 1 3/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Pair Of Earrings; painted and molded plastic, base metal; H x diam.: 2 × 3 cm (13/16 × 1 3/16 in.); Gift of Bartholomew Voorsanger; 2016-48-5-a,b

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108727319/ |title=Pair Of Earrings |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 May 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>