IYRS Presents: Mastering the Craft New York City on October 27, 2016

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IYRS Presents: Mastering the Craft NYC

Sponsored by Paul Weber Architect

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Thursday, October 27, 2016 | New York Yacht Club | New York City, NY
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The fall 2016 Roundtable will be hosted in the Model Room of the New York Yacht Club in New York City on Thursday, October 27th. Moderated by Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the can’t-miss conversation will include artists, makers and visionaries.

Featuring (left to right): Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Sharon Church, William Gudenrath, Marijn Manuels & Ubaldo Vitali

alice-cooney-frelinghuysen sharon-church-head-shot william-gudenrath marijn-manuels ubaldo-vitali


Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen
As the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frelinghuysen has published widely and curated exhibitions on American ceramics and glass, as well as late nineteenth-century decorative arts. In 2009, she oversaw the curatorial team that reinstalled The American Wing’s Charles Engelhard Court.

A graduate of Princeton University, she earned her M.A. at Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. Frelinghuysen is the great granddaughter of Brooklyn lumber magnet Louis Bossert, who owned the schooner Coronet from 1901-1905. She has beena  supporter of IYRS, including hosting receptions, for almost a decade.

Sharon Church
Sharon Church is a studio jeweler and Professor Emerita of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her B.S. from Skidmore College in 1970 and earned her M.F.A. at The School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1973. Before teaching at what was then The Philadelphia College of Art, she was a limited production studio jeweler. As a practicing artist, she enjoys the rich exchange that characterizes the community of studio artists who currently reside in Philadelphia.

Sharon has spent her creative life making studio jewelry and is best known for her carved jewelry forms. She carves forms inspired by pods and flowers that have evolved from seed and a division of cells. They burst with life. Paradoxically, she works in materials that were once alive and now are dead: bone, horn and wood – they physically embody the life cycle.   Her carved forms embody a symbolic language of growth and decay, death and renewal – timeless images that are at once tender and powerful.  Her jewelry seeks to embody shimmering beauty along with its dark, damp and mysterious underpinnings. It is adornment that girds the wearer, jewelry that empowers, enables and protects. On the body, both wearer and ornament combine to become a performance piece, creating an image that is fierce yet responsive.

Collections include:  The Yale Art Gallery, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; The Samuel Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Helen Williams Drutt Collection, Houston, Texas; The Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin; The Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware.

Sharon has been named to the College of Fellows of the American Craft Council and has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Craftsman’s Fellowship Grant; she was twice selected as a Finalist (Discipline Winner) for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts; she has received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. the Richard C. von Hess Faculty Award, and two Venture Fund Awards from The University of the Arts, in 2008 she received The James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Educator Award and in 2010 she was given the Philadelphia Art Alliance/s Medal of Distinction.

William Gudenrath
The resident advisor of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, William Gudenrath is a glassblower, scholar, author, lecturer, and teacher. He is recognized internationally as one of the foremost authorities on glassmaking techniques of the ancient world through the 18th century. In

1989, he developed a widely accepted theory regarding the original form and the probable method of manufacture of the world’s most celebrated ancient glass object, the Portland Vase. Despite a detour in 1974 to earn a Bachelors Degree from the University of North Texas and in 1978 to earn his Master of Music degree from the Julliard School, most of Mr. Gudenrath’s life has been dedicated to the material he fell in love with at the age of 11 with a chemistry set that served as his first introduction to glass and glassworking.

In addition to his numerous contributions in print and video on many aspects of glass history, Mr. Gudenrath is co-chairman, with Lino Tagliapietra, of the technical committee of Venetian Glass Study Days at the Istituo Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arit, in Venice, and a fellow of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Mr. Gudenrath’s most recent project is the Museum’s first electronic publication, The Techniques of Renaissance Venetian Glassworking. Mr. Gudenrath’s original glasswork is sold in exclusive stores and galleries nationwide.

Marijn Manuels
Marijn Manuels is a conservator in the department of Objects Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, responsible for the technical investigation and treatment of their American period rooms and furniture collection. Having trained in his native Netherlands, Marijn has been at the Met for 20 years, during which he worked on many landmark exhibitions such as those covering the work of Honoré Lannuier (1996), John Townsend (2005) and Duncan Phyfe (2012).

In addition, as an integral part of the ten-year renovation and reinterpretation of the entire American Wing, Marijn oversaw the furniture and architectural conservation of many of the Museum’s iconic period rooms. More recently, he guided the conservation and installation of the Met’s new Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, as well as the accompanying exhibition introducing its maker, George A. Schastey, both of which opened in December 2015.

Ubaldo Vitali

Born in Rome 1944 into a fourth generation family of silversmiths, Mr. Vitali studied at Liceo Artistico, Rome; L’Accademia di Belle Arti, Faculty of Sculpture, Rome; L’Universitá di Roma, Faculty of Architecture, Rome.

Mr. Vitali has conserved and restored works of art for the Soprintendenza alle Belle Arti (the institution overseeing Italian museums), as well as independent restorations for various European museums and galleries, including such important objects as a late fourteenth-century reliquary of the head of St John the Baptist in San Silvestro, Rome, and a fifteenth century processional cross by Nicola di Guardiagrele in Teramo, Italy. The spectrum of restoration/conservation executed for the Soprintendenza ranged from Merovingian objects through nineteenth century. Additionally, he has designed and executed silver objects for the Italian government as gifts to foreign dignitaries, as well as for three popes, the Queen of England, the Shaw of Iran, the President of United States, etc.

In 1967, Mr. Vitali transferred to the United States. Since his transferal he has continued conservation/restoration for American as well as international museums, such as, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Toledo Museum of Art, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale Art Gallery, The Newark Museum, The Dallas Museum, The Philadelphia Museum and many others. He is a scholar, lecturer and consultant on both the art of silversmithing and the history of art, for museums, galleries and universities, with special emphasis on the relationship between techniques and style. Besides lectures, several master classes and workshops were conducted at institutions such as the V&A in London, Yale University, Winterthur Museum, Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Mr. Vitali has been commissioned on several occasions by the US State Department to design and execute silver objects to be given to foreign dignitaries by the president of the United States as presidential gifts. He also designs and execution of presentation pieces for major sporting events. To date, much of his work is represented in leading retail shops and companies.

Mr. Vitali’s objects are in the permanent collections of; The Newark Museum, the Houston Museum, and the Yale Art Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery. His works have been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as a solo exhibition in the Newark Museum, Oct -Dec 1990. His work is represented in major private international collections.


Past moderators and participants include TED Talk founder Richard Saul Wurman, 3D Systems Technology Executive Ping Fu, and award winning makers from diverse specialties such as aerospace, architecture, furniture, sculpture, musical instruments, photography and yacht design. The conversations are a convergence of topics that show how this work is both extraordinarily technical and also deeply craft-oriented.