Spratling ventured further than most designers in every way. His work is characterized by classic simplicity and he also made serving utensils, pitchers, vessels and trays. In 1944 he was sent by the United States Department of the Interior to do for Alaskan native Americans what he had accomplished with Mexican artisans. He piloted his own plane to Alaska and the Arctic, did about 200 designs based on Alaskan crafts and returned with Alaskan Indians to Taxco to train them. The project had a profound influence on his own work, in which he soon used abstracted Indian images and North Star motifs.

Although Spratling was the guiding spirit behind the Mexican modern jewelry movement, others contributed highly individual styling. Frederich Davis, another American, came to Mexico before Spratling and was the manager of the Sonora News Company in Mexico City where he would later produce jewelry of elegant simplicity. Outstanding among his square-cut and faceted silver necklaces, pins, bracelets and earrings shown is a stunning choker of trapezoidal elements ($250).

Margot Carr Banburges was a San Francisco painter who moved to Mexico in the 1920’s and was married in the 30’s to Antonio Castillo, a jewelry producer, for whom she made her first clips, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Among some of her marvelous designs shown is an enameled 1940’s fan bracelet, a tour de force of craftsmanship ($425).

Antonio Castillo and his four brothers were all trained in Spratling’s shop before they went out on their own to open Los Castillo, one of the most prominent of the Mexcian jewelry producers which is now in its second generation. The Castillos were responsible for introducing works that married two or more metals. They also did enameling, feather work and Aztec mosaics. The exhibition includes some complex and simple selections in solid silver sometimes combining semi-precious stones or glass.

Antonio Pineda, a native of Taxco, started in Spratling’s first workshop and went on to operate his own shop known as ”Antonio,” which is the way he also signed his boldly conceived modern jewelry. Hector Aguilar was another craftsman with roots in Spratling’s enterprise who proceeded to excel on his own. The show includes interesting examples of the works of these craftsmen, ranging from $350 to $650 for bracelets and $450 to $750 for necklaces.