American artist Thomas Gentille is represented by nine pieces in the permanent collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, more than any other contemporary jeweler. A master of materials, he uses anything that suits his aesthetic — eggshell inlay, wood, pure pigment, aluminum, zinc, resin, pumice, and even sawdust — to create works that are small in scale but monumental in scope. A technical innovator and mentor for many jewelers over the years, Gentille was an early director of the stellar jewelry program at the 92nd Street Y in New York and is the author of Step-by-Step Jewelry (1968), a publication acknowledged by many metalsmiths as a standard text.
Since 1968 he has been the subject of countless solo exhibitions, including Untitled: Thomas Gentille, American Jeweler at Die Neue Sammlung (The Design Museum), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, in 2016. From 2019-2020 he was included in Jewelry for America (works from the permanent collection) in the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His work is in numerous important private and public collections, as well as the MET, including the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Newark Museum; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Dallas Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Die Neue Sammlung (The Design Museum), Munich; and Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim. Winner of both the Herbert Hofmann Prize (2001) and Bavarian State Prize (2004), he was designated Klassiker der Moderne (Modern Classic) at “Schmuck,” during Munich Jewellery Week, in 2006. In 2018, Gentille was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Craft Council.