Robert Baines is both a jeweler and a scholar. His astonishingly detailed metalwork, which reflects studies in archaeometallurgy, embodies ancient techniques, such as linear wirework and granulation, but with the scale, grandeur, and irony of current practice. He sometimes incorporates objects, either found or fabricated, into his complex “worlds,” which often comment sardonically upon historical narratives.
One of the most prominent contemporary goldsmiths in the world, he has been included in many solo and group exhibitions, most recently Fake News and True Love: Fourteen Stories by Robert Baines at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (2019). He is the recipient of numerous international awards, among them the Bayerischer State Prize (2005) and Friedrich Becker Prize (2008) from Germany; and the Cicely and Colin Rigg Craft Award (1997), the richest craft prize in Australia. He holds a PhD from RMIT in Melbourne, where he is a professor emeritus of gold and silversmithing. In 2010, he was designated a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft. His work is in countless international museum collections, including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Powerhouse Museum, Sidney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg;and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Baines was designated Klassiker der Moderne (Modern Classic) at “Schmuck,” during Munich Jewellery Week 2020.