Keith Lewis


Keith Lewis is a master American jeweler residing in Washington state. He is a Distinguished Professor of Jewelry/Metals/Design at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, where he has taught for almost thirty years. Lewis states that he is drawn to the jewelry medium because of its intimacy and historical connection with sentiment, a distinctive characteristic of jewelry found in all cultures throughout the ages. He further believes that subject matter is rarely, if ever, approached with jewelry’s “unapologetic directness of technical virtuosity.”

Lewis is perhaps best known for his brooches and neckpieces exploring gay male sexual identity, and commemorating friends and acquaintances who died of AIDS, along with sexually-charged enamel jewelry inspired by the provocative frescos at Pompeii. In keeping with the broader themes of loss, memory, and our obligation to honor the past, he has done a series using abandoned baskets sourced from Goodwill, which he electroformed in copper, ornamenting them with other materials, such as silver, enamel, mirror, glass lens, plastic, pearls, etc.

Somewhat of a polymath, Lewis received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1981, and a Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, in 1993. He has been included in countless national and international exhibitions, including Schmuck 2012-2021 (and its accompanying tome), organized by Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; SCHMUCK 2020, IHM, Munich (regrettably cancelled due to Covid-19); Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Zhongguancun Fashion Industry Innovation Park (BIFT PARK) (2017); Rings! 1968-2021, a traveling exhibition conceived by Helen Drutt (2021-2022); and Tag, You’re It! a national touring exhibition curated by Kiff Slemmons and co-sponsored by Gallery Loupe and The Jewelry Library (2020-2022).

Lewis’s work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, where a brooch is on perpetual view in its dedicated jewelry rooms (and it should be noted that the V&A has also featured his jewelry twice on its Instagram); Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; The Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington; Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin; and Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany.

Among a myriad of awards and honors, in 2022 Lewis was inducted as a Fellow of the American Craft Council. He has co-authored a monograph with Damian Skinner, Dead Souls – Desire and Memory in the Jewelry of Keith Lewis (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, August 2023), which was presented in Munich during Munich Jewelry Week in March 2024.

Click here for Keith’s talk at Galerie Handwerk

Keith Lewis Digital Book

A Arte na Rua (“Art of the Street”),brooch, limoges enamel on steel, sterling silver, concrete, steel screws
A Arte (official) na Rua (“Official Art of the Street”), brooch, limoges enamel on steel, sterling silver, concrete, steel screws
Dick Rings for the God Fascinus
Dark Hearts That Stain (Second Pin in Honor of Ronald Firbank), Pin, Sterling silver, 24K gold plate, garnets. 6 x 6 x 1 cm.
Boy/Girl Heart Rings, Sterling silver, 18K gold, each 2.5 x 2.3 x 0.5 cm
Boy/Girl Heart, Earrings, Sterling silver, 18K gold
Flying Cock, Pin, 2006 Sterling silver, 18K gold, gilding metal, 24K gold on enamel
Girl Ring, Sterling silver, enamel
Gonad Earrings, Sterling silver, pearls. 3 x 1.5 x .25 cm.
Hand Earrings, Sterling silver, diamonds, pearls. 8 x 4 x .5 cm.
Ossuary, pin, Sterling silver, fine silver, 24K gold, enamel, 7 x 8 x 0.5 cm.


50 Church St. Montclair,
NJ 07042 USA

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12-5pm. Other days/times by appointment.