10.03.2007 – 20.05.2007

Gijs Bakker and Jewelry

Innovative and avant-garde – the jewelry by Gijs Bakker
Exhibition documentation, Gijs Bakker and Jewelry, April 2007.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)

About the Exhibition

Dutch designer Gijs Bakker (born 1942) became famous as co-founder of Droog Design. For connoisseurs, however, he has also long been one of the leading international jewelry artists of the present day.

“I Don’t Wear Jewels, I Drive Them” was the name Bakker gave to one of his brooch series, ironizing the love some men have for their cars. In his “Holysport” brooches, he alludes no less slyly to the religious character of soccer. With these later works, Gijs Bakker proved himself to be one of the avant-gardists of author’s jewelry, as with many of his jewelry pieces since the swinging sixties.

From 1958 to 1962, he studied gold and silversmithing at the Amsterdam Instituut voor Kunstnijverheid (now the Rietveld Academy) and, together with his wife Emmy van Leersum (1930-1984), began to develop new approaches to jewelry in the mid-sixties: from the use of unusual materials such as aluminium, PVC or flowers, to strict geometrization or pieces from the seventies and eighties that were closely linked to the wearer’s body, to the playfully critical works of more recent times.

In the “Swinging Sixties”, Bakker’s geometric abstract pieces of jewelry became a fashion “must”. In the 70s and 80s, his designs took on a whole new quality: the so-called profile jewelry for Fritz Maierhofer or for Emmy van Leersum are inseparably linked to the wearer and emphasize their uniqueness by adapting precisely to them.
Bakker was and is also innovative in his choice of materials and techniques. With his former condemnation of gold, he caused an uproar in the goldsmith scene. Even today, he still uses unusual materials such as aluminum, plastic, wood, flowers and gold leaf and combines, for example, PVC-laminated photographs with precious stones and metals.

Die Neue Sammlung – the State Museum of Applied Arts in Munich – has long devoted itself intensively to the subject of author’s jewelry and has given it a large, permanent exhibition area: the “Danner Rotunda” in the Pinakothek der Moderne.
Against this backdrop – on the second floor of the central entrance rotunda – the focus is now on one of the revolutionaries of the 1960s. The retrospective is being held in cooperation with the Stedelijk Museum s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, and offers a diverse insight into the oeuvre of Gijs Bakker, which negates the conventional boundaries of the liberal and applied arts.

An exhibition of Die Neue Sammlung in cooperation with SM’s – Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Publication accompanying the exhibition:
Yvonne Joris/Ida van Zijl, Gijs Bakker and Jewelry. 272 pages with 491 mostly color illustrations. Text English/Dutch. Design: Anthon Beeke. EUR 49,80

Munich | March 10 – June 2007

Plan a visit


Barer Straße 40, 80333 Munich

Opening hours:

Daily 10:00 – 18:00

Monday closed

Thursday 10:00 – 20:00

The picture shows the wall text of the exhibition. To the right in front of it is a tall glass display case with an installation of various floating metal objects and a black-and-white print of a body section. This one shows a bare shoulder with upper arm and chest. There is a bracelet on the upper arm.
Exhibition documentation, Gijs Bakker and Jewelry, April 2007.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)
On the left are abstract metal figures wearing round decorative objects on their necks and arms. To the right is an informative wall text.
Excerpt from the exhibition
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (A. Laurenzo)

Catalogue to the Exhibition
The complete catalogue of jewellery by the internationally renowned jewellery and product designer Gijs Bakker from Holland:


Main lender: