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Exhibition - Indiana University at Bloomington

October 2013

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General info about The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series:

The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series was established in 2002 with a bequest from fashion designer Bill Blass, a native Hoosier and friend of Indiana University. The Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series is presented and hosted by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Legacies of Adornment: The Necklace Art of Barbara Natoli Witt


The Sage Collection at Indiana University is pleased to present Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series speaker jewelry artist Barbara Natoli Witt.  Ms. Witt will show her latest works and talk about her design process on Thursday, October 17, 4-5 pm, in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. This talk is free and open to the public. For information on this event, please call 812-855-4627, or contact Kelly Richardson at

Barbara Natoli Witt is a contemporary artist with the rare distinction of having created her own medium. Her unique necklaces blend tapestry techniques to form intriguing webs of colored threads, ancient beads, and gem stones which capture at their centers precious sculptured pieces, artifacts, and heirloom treasures. In the course of her 40-year career she has

introduced a new facet of jewelry arts, perpetuating the beauty of the ancient, the ethnic, and the exquisitely quaint within a framework of contemporary beauty and utility. Her work is included in many outstanding collections including the Smithsonian Institution; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; The Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Oakland Museum of California; and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.

Ms. Witt became fascinated by cross-disciplinary research into the origins of the art of adornment while studying the ancient ethnic artifacts used in her work.  The range of symbols illustrated in Witt's designs is impressive and demonstrates the universality of such images including birds, butterflies, spiders, fish, frogs, snakes, trees, flowers, fruits, lions, deer, horses, sun, clouds, faces, masks, hands, and geometric patterns. She is drawn to the evolving, implicit meaning of symbols that are universally embraced and expressed in the material cultures around the world. “We are very happy to have Barbara Witt bring her current collection to Bloomington,” said Kate Rowold, Professor and Curator of the Sage Collection. “It is particularly exciting that Ms.Witt will be on campus as the ZOOM Symposium (a School of Fine Arts event) begins on campus and around the community.”

Barbara Natoli Witt will also talk about her work and present a mini-exhibition of her latest work at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D), Saturday, October 19, 1-3 pm. The Indiana University Center for Art + Design is located at 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana. For more information on this event please call (812) 375-7550.

These events are free and open to the public.

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