Museum Workshop Converts Selfies into Jewelry Pendants

Museum Workshop Converts Selfies into Jewelry Pendants

'Shall We Selfie Together' shows young people how relics of the past can be brought together with 21st century trends

Tiffany Nesbit
  • 25 july 2014

Photographs are an important part of any culture because they allow us to better remember significant events, and no photograph is more important right now than the selfie. Selfies have a strengthened magnitude over the average photograph because they allow people to control the way in which they will be remembered. The problem is, most people have numerous selfies that they post on Facebook and Instagram, but do little else with. Fortunately, after being featured in an exhibit at The Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York City, one artist came up with a workshop idea that gives selfies a new duty.

David Mandel has been creating highly collectible fashion jewelry for over 20 years, and was recently featured in an exhibit at MAD called Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger. This was a novel kind of exhibit for the museum, but because its focus is on process and materials, and fashion jewelry combines less desirable materials but processes them into beautiful pieces, the Chief Coordinator at MAD, David McFadden, thought it would make for an exciting exhibit; he was correct. The show was very successful, which lead the MAD team to commission David Mandel for a workshop series.


‘Editions of You: Workshops in Photo Jewelry’ was a three-part workshop series located at MAD that was taught by Mandel. The closing workshop, ‘Shall We Selfie Together? Hanging Photo Pendants,’ was geared towards young people and called them to reimagine and repurpose pendants. Using selfies, metal, flatback Swarovski crystals, and semi precious cabochons, participants created charm bracelets and necklaces. The one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces highlight the differences between antiques like pendants and modern day trends like selfies, but brings them together in a way that can be appreciated by all.

MAD Museum


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