THE REASON FOR THIS WEBSITE....
I have built this site as a place for me to come, to post my ideas, to share my life and history.
This is a ROBERT LEE MORRIS Online Museum, with lots of inspirational, and educational information for students jewelry students especially. A library of images and stories, eye candy jewelry and gallery displays. Like any museum, it has a shop. This shop is filled with my extensive archive collection. This is the work I made and decided to keep, and the work I bought from the artists in the gallery.
This is not just a place to buy things, but a place to learn, and re-connect with the time of life we baby boomers shared in the 60’s 70’s 80’s, the high times.
Here are some of the remaining one of a kind prototypes I made by hand in the last 5 decades, as well as a limited body of old wholesale sample pieces, all for sale.
MY PERSONAL STORY…
IN 1969, I TAUGHT MYSELF how to make jewelry while living on a hippy craft farm in the cornfields of Wisconsin. Soon after, my work was discovered by a major art dealer and collector, Joan Sonnabend. Joan owned the Plaza hotel (Sonesta) and opened her famous SCULPTURE TO WEAR gallery showing jewelry by blue chip artists (Picasso, Arp, Braque, Lichtenstein, Calder, Cesar, Fontana, Pomodoro, Niki de St. Phalle, Lowell Nesbitt, Robert Indiana, Cesar, and so many more, all famous for their signature art..
IN 1973, JOAN GAVE ME A ONE MAN SHOW and my career took off like a rocket. Fashion editors began to use my early work in their shoots and my look was bold and fresh and dramatic and just what the media loved put on their pages. Bubble cuffs and collars, were used all over at once.
IN 1974, I HAD MOVED FROM RURAL NEW HAMPSHIRE TO SOHO NYC. I fell in with the Downtown crowd right away. Lots of dancing, clubbing, lots of new friends, and I became so energized. Hanging with artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Bob Stanley, Richard, Artschwager, Lowell Nesbitt, and the energy of lower Manhattan pushed me into wild self expressions, as I explored who I was and what I wanted to make of myself.
SUDDENLY MADLY creating new bold and hollow shapes that created great volume I began to make modern armor. Like the filmmaker I had been, I began to visualize a cinematic world with tall strong Amazonian women wearing post apocalyptic tech gear with a tribal style. Past and Future, I began to make the “props” for my imaginary actors. These were like Sci Fi blends, fun and dramatic. And again, the editors from newspapers, magazines and stylists began to react wildly to my extreme pieces.
Soon the sales of my work alone was more than all the other artists in the gallery put together. The December 1976 VOGUE featured my brass bubble collar on its cover!
pavements looking for alternative venues for showing and selling my work.I went to every prestigious retail store and met with their buyers. I visited each Soho gallery that had power and was told to speak with the fashion editors.
Not one retail establishment could figure out where or how my work would fit into their stores or galleries.
What I was making was too new, too out-there- ahead of its time…I WAS FORCED to open my own place. I represented a yet to be recognized category of jewelry they called BRIDGE or DESIGNER jewelry; in between fine jewelry and costume. No stores had anything like what I and my peers were now creating.
So by the fall of that year, 1977, I opened ARTWEAR, and began to represent not only my work but the jewelry of over 50 great American jewelry designers.
INSTANTANEOUSLY the PUBLICITY for the gallery exploded all over the media, fashion magazines, newspapers, TV news and the word of mouth spread like wildfire. Soon all the major fashion designers flocked to Artwear and started to ask for collaborations on their runway shows.
The wave of new EDITORIAL COVERAGE propelled the gallery, (and my work especially) into the mainstream media, and from then on, my work was cut out for me. For many, I was a father figure of this exciting new and prosperous category of jewelry!
For me, I was answering my calling.
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