I recently found out that merry renk passed away and feel an obligation to say something in tribute. In a time when yesterday is so often considered "old hat," it is wonderful to know that merry renk lived long enough to see her jewelry from the mid-20th century recognized in major museum exhibitions.
merry developed a signature style with simple materials and techniques.
In the video below you will see crowns by merry renk.
Hair ornament below by merry renk.
Every catch and closure by merry renk was carefully integrated into the whole design.
Above necklace titled, "Arizona Conference" by merry renk.
I am absolutely positive that she thought all the people at the Conference chirped like a flock of birds called Cactus Wrens. The ends of the horizontal rods are supposed to be a cactus blossom.
Catch for Plymouth Rocks Necklace by merry renk 1980-81*
merry shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the field as a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area Metal Arts Guild. In this 9 minute YouTube video below merry reminiscences about the fellow founder and first MAG President, Margaret De Patta. Interview by emiko oye. San Francisco, CA. April 15, 2012.
Images shown are:
1. "We open Seven Fifty Studio 1947" (memory painting, merry, 1995);
2. "my jeweler's tattoos" by merry;
3. young merry dancing;
4. April 2012 - Christine Dhein, emiko oye, merry renk, Shana Astrachan;
5. merry renk's jewelry studio (2012);
6. exhibition poster for merry renk's retrospective, 1981;
7. reverse side of exhibition poster, drawings by merry renk.
The transcript of an interview with merry renk is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with merry renk, 2001 Jan. 18-19, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
*The ideas for these catches by merry renk were shared with me in 1988 when I was teaching a Hinges and Mechanisms Workshop.
Please feel welcome to add a comment about merry renk.
In remembrance of merry during what would have been her 91st year, the community held the following events to celebrate her life:
Celebration for merry’s Life
Sat, July 14, 1:30-4:30pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church
1187 Franklin Street at Geary
San Francisco, CA 94109
This post was updated on March 31, 2022, to provide current links.