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June Schwarcz Invention & Variation
June Schwarcz was among the most innovative artists working in the late twentieth- century enamels field.  Best known for her electroplated metal sculpture embellished with rich enamel color, Schwarcz produced an extensive body of work which, while referring to time-honored vessel making traditions, defied convention because, as she wryly noted, “They simply don’t hold water.”

Recognized early in her career for her pioneering approach to enameling, Schwarcz was included in 1956 in Craftsmanship in a Changing World, the inaugural exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York (now the Museum of Arts and Design) just two years after she had begun to work in this medium.  Her work was also featured in that museum’s seminal 1959 exhibition Enamels and the watershed traveling exhibition Objects: U.S.A. a decade later.

Amassing a series of honors and awards, she was designated a California Living Treasure in 1985, and in 2009 she was given the Masters of the Medium Award by the James Renwick Alliance.  An influential leader in her field, she was a founding member of the Northern California Enamels Guild and a member of the Enamelist Society, where, in 1991, she earned a Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more than sixty years, Schwarcz created inventive forms in glass and metal that set new standards for the field while serving as a mentor and an inspiration to generations of young and emerging artists.

June Schwarcz: Invention & Variation is the first major museum exhibition to survey the full scope of this seminal artist’s career.  The exhibition was organized by Bernard N. Jazzar and Harold B. “Hal” Nelson, leading scholars of 20th-century enamels and co-founders of the Los Angeles-based non-profit Enamel Arts Foundation.  A fully illustrated catalog is available in the Renwick Gallery store and online ($34.95 hardcover).