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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Exhibits
The Jeweled Art of Sidney Mobell

Everyday Fantasies:
The Jeweled Art of Sidney Mobell

MousetrapMaking the ordinary precious and valuable is at the heart of the art of Sidney Mobell. The mere appearance of gold, jewels, platinum, and silver is both a material and symbolic signal that we are no longer in the realm of the ordinary; we are in the presence of the precious and extraordinary. The playful juxtaposition of everyday things and material symbols of power draws our attention and force a smile of wonder and confusion. Whether it is a diamond and gold sardine can or a jeweled monopoly board with solid gold hotels, Sydney Mobell’s creations irresistibly attract attention, inviting the question “why”. What makes these objects valuable, important, precious, memorable – museum treasures? How do we give these objects meaning and value? Why do these objects make me smile, what do they tell me about myself, my culture and how I perceive both the everyday and the extraordinary objects of life? In the end, these whimsical, jeweled creations raise both questions and eyebrows, they surprise and remind, reveal and disguise; they remain both mysterious and wonderful.

 

Cell phone

Sardine tim

Pacifier

Yoyo

 
Eye

Monopoly board