Born in Cuba to Jamaican parents, Art Smith was one of the first African American jewelry designers. His mentor was Winifred Mason who owned a small jewelry studio and shop in Greenwich Village. She employed him, sparking his interest in design. In the early 1950's his work became so desirable that he was given pictorial coverage in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and the"On the Avenue," segment in the New Yorker. Additionally, he landed many important commissions for well known celebrities.
This is an example of his mid-century design work. The brooch is constructed of brass and copper. Art Smith paid great attention to form and detail. The pin bears his signature on the back. It measures 3 1/4" X 3 inches. An exceptional piece by a gifted artist.