A jewelry designer and sculptor by trade, German native Robert Lee Morris has made a name for himself with designs in gold, bronze and also silver. Crediting the influences of having traveled extensively and being able to enjoy all that local artisans had to offer, this jewelry designer is famous for his classic lines with a twist. Several of his pieces feature a unique 24-carat gold plating that has a stunning matte appearance. He accents these pieces with patinas of red and green. Yet the road to international recognition had a few detours along the way.
Morris received his big break when Joan Sonnabend invited him to exhibit his best pieces at her New York gallery outpost in 1971. Already well-respected in the circles of art lovers and sculptors, her attention to Morris’ pieces brought almost instantaneous critical acclaim to his designs. Bringing his works to the audience of the Plaza Hotel also resulted in quick recognition of this jeweler’s talents. From there, the cover of Vogue in 1976 seemed to be a natural progression for the artisan who liked to push the envelope just a little bit. The gladiator bubble collar that led to the iconic photo shoot made Morris a celebrity overnight.
The next stop on the road was the Artwear jewelry gallery in 1977. The first store opened on the Upper East Side, which was in close proximity to Madison Avenue. Only a year later, the store relocated to SoHo. During this time, Morris worked with the who’s who of fashion design. Adding a store on Madison Avenue itself was a worthwhile coup. An outlet on Germany’s famous shopping street, the Koenigsallee, did not last long. In fact, Artwear closed its doors altogether in 1995.
Deciding to focus primarily on his own creations, the artisan next opened the Robert Lee Morris Gallery on Broadway. In 2011, this company was sold to Haskell Jewels. The next chapter in Morris’ illustrious career was his SoHo line of pieces that could be purchased via department stores. Retailers also carry the jeweler’s higher-end pieces. Forsaking the pressure of the outlet store, Morris is now positioned as an artist rather than a designer. His current collection of pieces features plenty of hammered gold and patina overlay.
Actively marketing his new creations to an international audience, the freedom that comes from not operating a storefront has given the artist plenty of time and resources to create exquisite pieces that are as unique as they are refined. It is impossible to wear a Morris jewel and not draw the attention of onlookers. Patina clasps, block bracelets and rose gold creations are some of the finest collection examples that shoppers note when looking through the pieces.
Peter Suchy Jewelers is located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut and we invite you to stop by our showroom where you’ll find a huge collection of vintage and estate jewelry.
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