Mid-century modernist jeweler Jules Brenner
Modernist jeweler Jules Brenner (1917-1991)
Born in 1917, Jules Brenner was an artist by training and began his career as a painter and sculptor in his native New York. However, in the late 1940s he moved to Provincetown, Rhode Island, where he became interested in working with metal, creating functional objects in copper and brass.
During this period he worked with the renowned modernist jeweler Ed Wiener (1918-1991), who, with his wife Doris, ran a workshop and shop selling Mexican jewelry and his own creations.
While honing his skills of working with metal, Jules Brenner became interested in creating jewelry. Three years later, in 1951, Jules Brenner moved to Woodstock, New York, where he and his wife opened a shop on MacDougal Street, where he sold his own modernist silver jewelry.
In 1953 he returned to Greenwich Village, where he opened a workshop and began creating modernist pieces in sterling silver, with gold wire and sometimes semi-precious stones. He marked his pieces with “sterling” and his full name.
Ten years later, he moved his studio to Lexington Avenue and began to work in the style of constructivism and surrealism, using mainly gold. Handcrafted in limited editions or one of a kind, these pieces of jewelry are highly collectible.
In 1974, Jules Brenner moved to Provincetown, where he had worked for seventeen years, until his death in 1991.