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Ruudt Peters & Liesbeth den Besten keynote speakers SNAG Conference

Ruudt Peters & Liesbeth den Besten are keynote speakers on The Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference 2015 in Boston, from May 20-23

Wed, May 20 - Sat, May 23  2015

SNAG, The Society of North American Goldsmiths, advances jewelry and metalsmithing by inspiring creativity, encouraging education, and fostering community. Founded in 1969, SNAG is a nonprofit educational organization with more than 2,000 members worldwide – comprising all aspects of contemporary metalsmithing. SNAG envisions a diverse jewelry and metals community engaging in thoughtful conversation and critical discourse while preserving tradition and embracing innovation.

This year, during the 2015 SNAG Conference, Ruudt Peters and Liesbeth den Besten are keynote speakers.

Ruudt Peters

Ruudt Peters studied jewelry design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam; in 1990 he became the head of their Jewelry Department. Peters taught there until 2000. Since then, he has taught at Adellab Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden; and is now at the Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School in Florence, Italy. In addition to his professorships, Peters also teaches week-long intensive workshops from his summer studio in Ravenstein, the Netherlands.

Peters has exhibited  his sculpture, objects, and jewelry in museums and galleries in Europe and the United States. His work is in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim, the Danner Stiftung in Munich, the MAD Museum in New York City, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.


“I am proud to come from a 3000 year old profession. I feel we have a responsibility to push jewelry and the applied arts from history into the future, but I feel we may be too nice, too gentle, to fight for changes in the applied arts.

We are always trying to please the audience. Jewelers get too worried about making nice decorations for the body and tend to forget their strong concepts while working.  Applied artists like metalsmiths and other craftspeople often focus on making aesthetic objects to look nice and please the audience.

Have you ever thought about why you choose to make applied art instead of fine art? Are you choosing the safe side? Why are we only making light versions of our strong ideas?

Be honest with yourself. Keep your concept in the front of your mind. Forging Forward, make hundreds of pieces… maybe one will be good for the future.” -Ruudt Peters

Liesbeth den Besten

Liesbeth den Besten is a Dutch art historian, who specializes in contemporary craft and design with a focus on jewelry. She works as a freelance writer, teacher, lecturer, juror, curator and advisor. On a voluntary basis she works for the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, Art Jewelry Forum, and chi ha paura…?. Recently she, Ruudt Peters and others founded the Dutch SSC (Society of Jewelry Collections). On Jewellery, a Compendium of international contemporary art jewellery is one of her publications.


Collecting jewelry is a passion to many individuals; because of its size and character, jewelry is easy to live with – therefore it becomes part of daily life. Also, museums collect jewelry. Individual sponsors acquire pieces for museum collections, and museums acquire private collectors. What is the position of jewelry in museum collections, and on a more philosophical level: how to avoid the sarcophagus and the loneliness of objects.

DutchCulture USA