The Brooch Unpinned: The Goldsmiths’ Company Collection 1961–2021

12 Apr 2021 - 20 Aug 2021 · 9am - 5pm
Free admission
The Goldsmiths' Centre
Event type

‘The Brooch Unpinned’, exhibition and online events programme, celebrates the art of the brooch and the dynamic relationships it creates – between maker and wearer and between wearer and viewer. It explores a selection of British brooches from the Goldsmiths’ Company’s unique jewellery collection, tracing the evolution of contemporary design in this most wearable and revealing of accessories.

From ancient times, a brooch could be an emblem of authority, wealth and power. Before buttons or hooks, a brooch was the only way to fix textile to the body. That relationship with the body, and with textiles, underlines the role of micro-engineering in making a brooch work. 

Brooches are versatile, can be worn to convey a message, or to spark a conversation. Brooches were at the heart of post-War jewellery design. Wendy Ramshaw referred to the brooch as ‘a portable artform’, and, as exemplified by our latest acquisitions for the Goldsmiths’ Company collection, they continue to fascinate and challenge contemporary makers. 

The Brooch Unpinned at the Goldsmiths' Centre
Brooch, 1962, Andrew Grima (made by H. J. Co. Ltd) – Photographer: Clarissa Bruce
Brooch, 2007, Daphne Krinos – Photographer: Clarissa Bruce

The Brooch Unpinned: The Goldsmiths’ Company Collection 1961–2021 Book

The book, 'The Brooch Unpinned' celebrates the art of the brooch in Britain from 1961 to 2021, as represented by stunning examples selected from the Modern Jewellery Collection of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

This exhibition held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre will remain open subject to Government COVID-19 guidelines alongside an online events programme. The Goldsmiths’ Company curatorial department curated The Brooch Unpinned and associated programme in partnership with the Goldsmiths’ Centre.