Modernist and Brutalist Style Jewelry

Modernism is a term that describes a design style seen in fashion, art, architecture and home decor typically from the Mid-20th Century. Modernist jewelry is a clean, contemporary style often depicted by Scandinavian designers.  The Georg Jensen Company of Denmark, for example, is still a leader in Modernist jewelry fashion.

Another design style popular in the Mid-20th Century and often associated with Modernism is Brutalism. Initially it referred to architectural monolithic styles and then was applied to jewelry. Brutalist jewelry does not have the clean lines and bright surfaces of Modernist Jewelry.  It tends to be more rough, organic and "deconstructed" in comparison to fine jewelry.  Many famous Brutalist jewelry designers emerged from Montreal in the later 1960's and into the 1970's such as Guy Vidal, Robert Larin, Charbonneau, and Darveau. Although they made some jewelry in silver, most was created in bronze and pewter which was more affordable and accessible to more people. Ironically, with the revival of vintage clothing and jewelry, Canadian Brutalist jewelry is highly collectible and has increased in value regardless of the type of metal used.