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National treasure wins Herbert Hofmann jewellery prize

RMITRMIT University’s Emeritus Professor Robert Baines has been named the winner of the prestigious Herbert Hofmann Prize at the 2013 International Trade Fair in Munich, Germany.

Emeritus Professor Baines won the prize for his series “Schmuck 2013” at the trade fair’s 54th Special Jewellery Show, the oldest exhibition of contemporary jewellery work in the world.

Three brooches from the series were awarded the Herbert Hofmann Prize, which commemorates the founder of the Special Jewellery Show, Dr Herbert Hofmann. The show has taken place each year during the International Trade Fair since 1959.

“It’s always an honour to be recognised for my work, even after many years of working on my craft,” Emeritus Professor Baines said.

In his round and oval brooches, Emeritus Professor Baines plays with the depiction of animals ranging from serpents to teddy bears.

The award jury commented on his humorous and ironic approach, that hints at the forms of historic jewellery, and noted that history was his “point of departure for creating an expressive style of jewellery that is superbly executed and entirely his own.”

Work by Emeritus Professor Baines, who was Professor of Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT until his retirement in 2012, features in public collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne).

In 2010, he was been named an Australian Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft.

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