NOMA COPLEY (1916-2006)
NOMA COPLEY (1916-2006)
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THE SURREALIST WORLD OF ROSALIND GERSTEN JACOBS AND MELVIN JACOBS
NOMA COPLEY (1916-2006)

Necktie

Details
NOMA COPLEY (1916-2006)
Necktie
silver necklace with adjustable neck ring
overall: 17 x 4 in. (43.2 x 10.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1969
Provenance
Acquired from the artist by the late owners, circa 1969.
Exhibited
New York, Museum of Arts & Design, Picasso to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler, September 2011-January 2012, p. 233 (illustrated in color).

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Lot Essay

"Surrealist inspired and influenced, I, for a long time, tried to transform the everyday, the common objects, that are taken for granted into poetry to wear." -Noma Copley

Noma Copley (née Norma Rathner) began designing fine arts jewelry in the late 1960s. Known best for her spectacularly detailed and witty approach to incorporating quotidian objects into her designs, Noma used precious materials to create necktie necklaces, shirt-cuffs and pencil bracelets, sardine can-opener brooches, arrow pendants and button rings to name a few. These clever examples of wearable sculpture drew directly upon her long involvement and exposure to the Surrealist movement.

Noma met Man Ray in Los Angeles after World War II. Man Ray shortly thereafter introduced to her William Copley, the gallerist, art patron turned artist, whom she married on 13 December 1953. Man Ray and his wife Juliet were the best man and witness at their nuptials. The Copleys later lived in a large estate outside of Paris in Longpont-sur-Orge, where they hosted numerous gatherings of artists, writers and supporters of the Surrealist movement. Noma and William Copley were close and lifelong friends of Rosalind and Melvin Jacobs. The Copleys linked the Jacobses to the world of Surrealism and aided with many of the acquisitions in the Jacobs collection.

Ellen Stock, in a 1975 issue of New York Magazine, wrote: "Noma, who emerged from the Paris world of Surrealist painters five years ago to become one of New York’s most original jewelry designers, takes her ideas from everyday objects in situations” (p. 48).

Noma frequently collaborated with the expert jewelry craftsman Jean Stark and the artist/goldsmith Robert Kulicke. She also created commissions for friends and clients including the playwright David Mamet, Nancy O'Connor (the wife of actor Carroll O’Connor) and members of the Rothschild family. Examples of Noma’s work are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

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