Recently purchase from a Chicago Estate sale this vintage 1950s~60s signed Burkee Necklace is a mater pierce from the Mid Century designer Irvin and Bonnie Burkee. This Sterling Silver abstract hand crafted Sea Lion Pendant Necklace is a one of a kind piece and is one of my all-time favorites! A large piece of Ebony wood, smooth to the touch holds this stunning Abstract designed Sea Lion in solid sterling silver. He is large and weighty, this statement Pendant secures to a hand forged Sterling Silver Chain measures 18 inches long. This signed Burkee amazing vintage Pendant has one black enameled eye and measures 3 inches long by 1 ¾ of an inch wide and the Sterling Silver Sea Lion is riveted to the back. Hallmarked Burkee on the back of the Pendant and Sterling on the hand crafted jump ring of the Necklace weighting 42.9 grams.
Irvin and Bonnie Burkee were sculptors and studio jewelers at the Art Institute of Chicago. While maintaining a producing jewelry studio the Burkees were also active in the National Sculpture Society in 1992 and his work included commissions for institutions and private residences in Aspen, Colorado where they lived. Their work has been displayed in various national exhibitions and collections and is known for its fluid form and Constructivist elements. For more information about the Burkees see Modernist Jewelry 1930~1960. The Wearable Art Movement by Marbeth Schon.
More History: Burkee began his studies in 1939 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with principal teacher Boris Anisfeld, the Russian master. Burkee received annual scholarships and won a John Quincy Adams Foreign Travel Fellowship in 1945 when he graduated. At this time he also met and married a fellow art student, Bonnie May Ness.In 1946, Burkee joined the art faculty of the University of Colorado and Stephens College, but withdrew from teaching five years later in favor of working in his studio. His first venture was to found the Burkee Jewelry Studio in Blackhawk at a time when a new movement in the arts world to embrace crafts was growing rapidly.In Blackhawk, Irvin and Bonnie Burkee started their family, which included daughters Brynn and Jill, and son Peter. The family moved to Aspen in 1957 so the children could attend school in an "educationally aware town." After the move, Irvin Burkee began creating larger metal work, sculpting in stone and painting, establishing a gallery for his paintings in downtown Aspen. The artist worked with marble from the quarry in the town of Marble, and occasionally traveled to Pietrasanta, Italy, to work on bronze sculptures in his favorite foundry. Aspen's Alpine Jewelers, owned by Kurt Bresnitz, represented his jewelry creations.
Aspen was also the birthplace of Irvin and Bonnie's son Ian. The family built a home and studio of logs in Aspen's West End, near the music tent. They enjoyed a constant flow of tourists in town and the wide scope of activities in Aspen, including music, the library, theater, lessons in ballet, guitar and banjo, a corral near the meadows for their horses, and skiing. Because a number of folk, bluegrass and country musicians were traveling through Aspen performing and writing their own music, the Burkees regularly had song fests in their studio with them.In 1978, Irvin and Bonnie moved to the Verde Valley in Arizona, where he continued his studio work. Burkee's art has shown in a number of galleries in Arizona, and he was elected to the National Sculpture Society in 1992. His copper, bronze and silver mural "The Human History of Colorado" is now in the collection of the Colorado Historical Society in Denver.
In 1994, Irvin and Bonnie moved to Lake Montezuma, Ariz., building their last studio, where Irvin continued to work for several years. About Irvin, Bonnie said, "Irv [was] my forever companion - creative and confident. Only he could have filled my world with our extraordinary children, and art and music, and our special life in the west." Bonnie said they rebuilt their miner's cabin in Aspen far away from city lights "not to make any grand statement, only [for] the desire to enjoy each day free from needless distractions.
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Comes beautifully gift wrapped!
Superb condition and quality!
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