The Musée Series

The Musée Series is a series of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind art jewelry pieces inspired by visits to the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, of the works in their permanent collections as well as special curated exhibitions. My intent being to create a modern day context for Old Masters works and reinterpret bodies of work by modern artists as a reflection of our 21st century society and what is considered valuable. My use of repurposed LEGO® as a material is deliberate as it makes an intimate connection with all generations worldwide, from child to adult to grandparent. Everyone brings to my pieces their own story, and with it nostalgia for these infamous plastic bricks which are often regarded much like the “family jewels”, being passed down from generation to generation. 

Specifically, “Portrait” neckpiece is inspired by the silhouettes, colors and hand-carved ivory frame from “Portrait of a Lady”, 1591, oil on panel with hand-carved ivory frame by Flemish artist Frans Pourbus the Younger. “Winter’s Brush” neckpiece speaks to the bride in “The Russian Bride’s Affaire”, 1889, oil on canvas by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky. And “Dawning 2” neckpiece is my redux in recycled toys of the recycled wood installation, “Dawn’s Wedding Feast”, 1959 by sculptor Louise Nevelson.


show neckpiece, © 2012 emiko oye       
Repurposed LEGO® and recycled laminate, steel wire, sterling silver
20.5”L x 12”W x 3.5”D; center section: 12.25”L x 5.125”W x 3.5

Inspired by Portrait of a Lady, 1591 (oil on panel with hand-carved ebony frame),
by Frans Pourbus the Younger (Flemish, 1569-1622). Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco.

Model photos:
Photo © Marc Olivier Le Blanc 2016
Styling and modeling by Joui Turandot
Hair and makeup by Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll


neckpiece,  © 2010 emiko oye
Repurposed LEGO®, silk cord, coated copper wire, fine silver label
12”L (off body) x 7/8 – 2.5”W x 1/2 - 2”D; 5 3/8”L front center piece, 20.75”L (opened) 
Photo credit model image: Christine Dhein.
Private Collection.

An homage to “Dawn’s Wedding Feast” (1959), an installation of white-painted recycled wood sculptures by renowned artist Louise Nevelson, a strong, woman figure whose success spanned well into her 70s.

Inspired from the exhibition, The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend, at the M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, 2007-2008.

Created for Celebrating 70 exhibition celebrating Karen Lorene’s (Facere Jewelry Art Gallery) 70th birthday, specifically year 1959


dawning II      
neckpiece,  © 2011 emiko oye
Repurposed LEGO® and Connectix, recycled electronics cable, paint, sterling & fine silver
17"L x 9"W x 4"D
Private Collection

Inspired from the exhibition, The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend, at the M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, 2007-2008.

Model photo:
Photo © emiko oye 2012
Hair & Makeup by Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll


Winter’s Brush    
neckpiece,  © 2011 emiko oye
Repurposed makeup brushes, LEGO®, silk cord, coated copper wire, fine & sterling silver, recycled rope cording
15.5” L x 15”W x 3”D

Talismen traveled from an era bygone and not yet come
Soft-spoken messengers imbued with breath from their last muse
Oh, but for a moment's glimpse into their world of hypnotic beauty, power, and privilege
Suspended in stillness
What are they whispering to us through the impasse
For us to carry forward?

Photo credit for model in black sweater © Aura O’Brien 2011

Konstantin Makovsky (Russian, 1839–1915), The Russian Bride's Attire, 1889.
Oil on canvas, 110 x 147 inches. Collection of Legion of Honor, SF.