my new earrings (via collaboration of Molly M Designs & Roberto Burle Marx)

You know how one thing leads to another, and before you know it there’s a new pair of earrings coming in the mail? Let me explain.
There’s a Roberto Burle Marx exhibit right now at the Jewish Museum in New York (review here, “The Builder of Jungles” by Martin Filler.)
I admit to being slightly confused as to how a museum exhibit could possibly do justice to the work of the great Brazilian modernist landscape architect.
But Burle Marx was an outsized, protean artist, “a painter and sculptor; a designer of textiles, jewelry, theater sets, and costumes; a ceramicist and stained-glass artist.”
Therefore, he’s eminently worthy of an indoor exhibit, though I have to agree with Mr. Filler that:
The primal presence of nature—even in this designer’s highly stylized manner—is needed to fully explain the atavistic magic that emerged from his jungle fervor.”
(If you’re going to the Olympics in Rio this August, in addition to the famous Avenida Atlântica, the Copacabana boardwalk, you’ll want to research some Burle Marx-themed road trips.)


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Avenida Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via The New York Times

After reading the NYRB review, I confess my next thought was on the low-brow side: museum shop!
Maybe there were some special prints for sale made for the show, such as a print of this:


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Burle Marx’s design for a rooftop garden, Ministry of Education and Health, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1938, via NYRB

or this:

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“A detail of Roberto Burle Marx’s design for the garden of the Ministry of the Army in Brasília from the early 1970s.”
The New York Times – “Revisiting the Constructed Edens of Roberto Burle Marx

I didn’t find a print, but did experience an aha! moment discovering the jewelry of Molly M. I was beginning to think I was hopelessly tone deaf when it comes to jewelry.
It’s gotten so bad that I’ll find myself at work completely denuded of any ornament, having forgotten to wear even a wedding band before leaving the house. What’s wrong with me anyway?
My indifference to jewelry all my life never really bothered me much, but I’ve begun to notice the emotional attachment people feel to their rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Frankly, I’m a little envious of that attachment. So I had a couple Etsy sessions recently, dutifully scanning the sites for something to spark an interest. Nothing. Hopeless.
Until I saw the laser-cut creations of architect-trained Molly M in the Jewish Museum Shop tying into the Burle Marx exhibition.

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Finally, jewelry I actually desired. Now I get it! The Tropicalissimo Quill Necklace made a convert of me.
But a necklace is a big step for the newly converted, formerly jewelry phobic. Maybe there were earrings on Molly M’s own site?
Yes, there are Quill earrings available, as shown in the above photo.

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But at almost 2 inches in diameter, I opted for something smaller in “Radial,” made of “natural and charcoal stained birch.”

You can read more about Molly M here. I think I may have found, via our beloved Roberto Burle Marx, the cure to my jewelry phobia.

8 thoughts on “my new earrings (via collaboration of Molly M Designs & Roberto Burle Marx)

  1. Those are very cool earrings. The 2nd ones look more your style than the 1st.

    A garden club buddy and intrepid traveller visited RBM’s house and garden (a museum) in Brazil. It so happened she was the only visitor that day and had the place to herself. What an experience! Almost makes me want to travel…but not quite.

  2. I love the maker’s use of natural materials other than metal. They’re probably light too, which is always a plus. I winnowed my jewelry when we moved 5 years ago but still wear almost none of it, sticking to my wedding ring, a bracelet handed down from my grandmother, and the watch I bought with my very first work bonus. I add earrings when I’m making a special effort – they do make me feel more “dressed” even when I’m wearing jeans..

  3. @Hoov, the Radial are over an inch in cirumference so will still be splashy. I feel so terrible about the problems in Rio — what a gorgeous city.
    @Kris, it must be a mid-life crisis I’m having! I’ll probably get over it soon.

  4. Normally I notice when female friends don’t wear jewelry, but I have to admit you never have seemed to be missing anything decorative. Must be your shiny personality!

    I’d love to see a photo of you wearing your new treasures…any chance?

  5. We love to mix the low brow with the high brow when at an art museum. The gift shop and the cafe are a sort of palette cleanser, to heip refresh tired eyes. Plus sometimes you come away with really cool stuff!

  6. @Loree, I keep some token earrings in just to keep my ears pierced but nothing exciting like these. Earring selfie!
    @Tim, so true. I treasure my Clarice Cliff knockoff vase mail-ordered from a show in Boston.

  7. Nothing compares to seeing Burle Marx’s gardens in the flesh, and his own garden at Bico Santo Antônio south of Rio is a must-see for any lover of modernist tropical gardens. I must admit I prefer the Aterro do Flamingo to the Copacabana landscape, I just feel the Bay and Sugar Loaf and Corcovado soaring above creates a more dramatic setting than the wall of skyscrapers along Copacabana. I feel privileged to have wrangled a brunch invitation at Roberto’s home back in 1980, which was so memorable, and he sang for us as well.

    Jewelry isn’t for everyone, I find it just gets in the way myself, but can admire it on someone else.

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