Enid Kaplan


1954 – 2002

New Beginning

Talking Stick

Butterfly dream

New Beginning Talking Stick #1 Butterfly Dream

Enid Kaplan was a studio jeweler, sculptor and mixed-media artist who taught, lectured and exhibited all over the world. Her work, ranging in scale from 1″ to 20′, has been widely published in books and magazines, and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and of le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.

At the age of three Enid declared that her ambition was to be an artist and see the world.  A native of Manhattan and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she traveled extensively throughout her life, and the generosity she encountered wherever she went inspired her always to seek and embrace the unexpected.

A highly skilled and adventurous metalworker, she was among the first to explore the artistic possibilities of mixed and married metals, and the painterly nuance she was able to coax out of reactive metals remains unparalleled. She was a gleeful scavenger, and her jewelry and sculptures playfully combine metals, stones, woods, plastics, shells, bones, watch parts, photos, even rust.

Her work reflects her fascination with ruins and old walls, with our planet’s breathtaking beauty and diversity, and with the nature of our relationships with the Earth, with others and with ourselves.

Enid Kaplan’s artistic exploration of the mythic realm of consciousness began with extended journeys to remote tribal regions of Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia, including Borneo and New Guinea. These experiences reconnected her to an earlier and more profound function of art, that of summoning the personal
and collective journey towards self-realization. In the latter part of her life her works evolved into amulets, tools for rites of passage, for healing, and for communion with the natural world.

Enid was a liberating teacher. A walk with her would inevitably include her retrieving some piece of rust from the street and opening up a discussion on its possibilities in a collage. This ability to open the artist’s eye and share the effortlessness of creativity endeared her to thousands of people whose lives she touched in this way.

As well as being noted for her art jewelry, sculpture and theatrical installations, she leaves behind hundreds of works on paper and an extraordinary collection of 50 illuminated journals that she kept throughout her adult life.

She died in 2002 at the age of 48. She is survived by her husband, Jordan Deitcher, and by their son, Aden.