DMA Insight

Silver at the Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art began a major effort to collect, exhibit, and interpret silver in 1987 with the gift of the Hoblitzelle Collection of English and Irish silver. In 1989, the Museum purchased several pieces from the Sam Wagstaff Collection including an example of Gorham Manufacturing Company's extraordinary iceberg bowl, marking the first efforts to build a world-renowned collection of late 19th-century American silver.

In 1994, these efforts were revealed within the Museum's landmark exhibition and catalogue Silver in America: A Century of Splendor, 1840-1940. By the late 1990s, the Museum acquired such masterworks as the Belmont-Rothschild humidor by Tiffany & Co. and the astounding silver dressing table and stool Gorham produced for the 1850 Paris World's Fair, among other notable works.

In 2002, the Dallas Museum of Art greatly extended its holdings by acquiring the most important private collection of its type--The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection. Assembled over a 20-year period by collector and scholar Jewel Stern, the collection consists of more than 400 pieces of industrially produced American silver made between 1925 and 2000. The addition of this magnificent collection gives the Dallas Museum of Art the most significant holdings of late 19th- and 20th-century American silver in the world and solidifies the Museum's position as a leading center for scholarship in the field.

Excerpt from

Michelle Bleibert, Dallas Museum of Art press release, June 10, 2005