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On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets

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On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets

Suzanne Ramljak

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From the beginning of time, armor and amulets have been used for protection and are found in cultures across the globe, and those who crafted them have been esteemed as artists by their communities. The contemporary examples showcased here, in 200 eye-catching images, demonstrate the enduring artistry of the forms and the crucial role such objects can play in safeguarding body and soul, especially in our current Age of Terror. An exciting array of protective hardware (armor, barriers, wearable weaponry) and protective “software” (charms, amulets, talismans), reveal a broad range of strategies for human defense. Focusing on work from the twenty-first century, this captivating book features some of today’s finest artists and metalsmiths and testifies to the continued relevance of this creative pursuit. An introductory essay charts the wider cultural terrain of protective ornament–touching on issues of history, anthropology, and psychology, while portfolio sections spotlight subsets of defensive and offensive wear. Among the works of art are helmets, elaborate knuckledusters, pendants, collars, rings, bracelets, metal jackets, and chain mail, all designed for safety.

Size: 11″ x 8 1/2″ | 200 color images | 152 pp
ISBN13: 9780764346477 | Binding: hard cover

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Suzanne Ramljak, a writer, art historian, and curator, is editor of Metalsmith magazine and curator of exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts. She was formerly editor of Sculpture and of Glass Quarterly magazines. Ramljak is the author of Crafting a Legacy: Contemporary American Crafts in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Elie Nadelman: Classical Folk, and has contributed to numerous other publications, including One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today. She has lectured widely on contemporary art and served as guest curator for several exhibitions, among them Different Tempers: Jewelry and Blacksmithing; Body Language: Contemporary Art Jewelry; and this book’s companion exhibition, Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor.