FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 1, 2008

THE ENAMEL ARTS FOUNDATION AWARDED NON-PROFIT STATUS

Los Angeles, CA Bernard N. Jazzar, President of the Board of Directors of the newly formed Enamel Arts Foundation, announced today that the Foundation has received a non-profit designation by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) educational and cultural institution. The Enamel Arts Foundation is dedicated to promoting awareness, understanding, and appreciation of modern and contemporary enameling.

Mr. Jazzar, who, along with his partner Harold B. Nelson, is considered to be one of the leading authorities in the field of 20th-century enameling, stated that the new non-profit organization will fulfill its mission by “collecting, preserving, researching, documenting, publishing, and exhibiting modern and contemporary enamels at art museums and university art galleries throughout the country.”

Jazzar called the Enamel Arts Foundation, a “museum-without-walls,” a type of “lending library” that will share its collections with museums nationwide through a series of special programs including long-term loans, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs. The Foundation plans to fulfill its mission through the following short- and long-term initiatives:
  • Acquire and maintain the finest modern and contemporary enamels for the Foundation’s permanent collection;
  • Acquire artists’ papers and documents and maintain an archive of these and other materials related to the history of modern and contemporary enameling;
  • Record, catalogue and photographically document the collection in a manner consistent with national museum standards;
  • Conserve work in the collection on an as needed basis;
  • Conduct research on the artists and artwork in the Foundation’s collection and disseminate that information to the public in a variety of formats including articles, catalogues, books and via electronic media;
  • Utilize the Foundation’s collection, as well as loans, to develop a series of exhibitions (retrospectives as well as group and theme shows) to circulate to museums and university galleries throughout the country;
  • Develop a website and serve as a resource to curators, scholars, artists and the general public on the history of modern and contemporary enameling in this country;
  • Identify a space for a non-profit gallery or develop a relationship with an existing museum where the Foundation’s collection may be housed and displayed in perpetuity;
  • Develop an endowment to support the work of the Foundation.
The Collection
Once fully formed, the Enamel Arts Foundation collection will feature important examples of modern and contemporary enameling including work by Arthur and Jean Ames, Kenneth F. Bates, Karl Drerup, Doris Hall, William Harper, Harold B. Helwig, Ruth Raemisch, June Schwarcz, Mildred Watkins, Edward Winter, Jade Snow Wong, and Jackson and Ellamarie Woolley. It will also include work by mid-20th-century innovators Virgil Cantini, Paul Hultberg, Steffan Knapp, Richard Loving, Mary Ellen McDermott, John Puskas, Dorothy Sturm, Curtis Tann, Harold Tishler, Joseph Trippetti, and Oppi and Sara Hopea Untracht. Contemporary artists such as Harold Balazs, Harlan Butt, Jessica Calderwood, Gretchen Goss, Esteban Perez, and Sarah Perkins will be represented in the collection as well. The Foundation’s holdings, including numerous works transferred from the personal collection of Mr. Jazzar and Mr. Nelson, co-authors of Painting with Fire: Masters of Enameling in America, 1930 – 1980, will ultimately comprise over 1000 works of art. Over the next ten years, the Foundation will further strengthen its holdings by encouraging artists, collectors, and enameling enthusiasts to contribute work to the Foundation, building the strongest and most representative enamels collection in the country. Complementing its focus on American art, the collection will feature a representative selection of enamels by artists working in France, Italy, Japan, and Mexico.

Archives and Educational Resources
The Foundation currently possesses the nation’s single most comprehensive library, archive, and electronic database documenting modern and contemporary enameling. The Foundation’s educational resources include transcripts of interviews with artists, catalogues of important enamel and related craft exhibitions, books on enameling technique, individual artist files, and other pertinent materials relating to the history of enameling in this country. In the coming years, the Foundation will sponsor scholarly symposia on the history of enameling in conjunction with other professional meetings and gatherings. The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting research and publications documenting the history of enameling in the 20th century and in assisting in the dissemination of information to the general public.

The Enamel Arts Foundation Programs
In its efforts to increase public awareness of the art of enameling, the Enamel Arts Foundation will organize and circulate exhibitions to museums, university galleries, and community art centers across the country. These exhibitions will sometimes explore the work of individual leaders in the field such as the pre-eminent Cleveland-based enamelist Kenneth F. Bates, and at other times they will feature issues and ideas explored by several artists in group or theme shows. Together these exhibitions are intended to offer the public a deeper understanding of the rich history of enameling in this country.