Speaker's Biographies

Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos
has been an entrepreneur, scholar, author, foreign policy, and philanthropy professional as well as a women’s rights advocate. She is the founder and CEO of MAHNAZ COLLECTION, which opened in 2012, New York’s premier, female-run, gallery for modern, vintage, designer, and artist jewelry. The gallery is both a sales and knowledge portal. It not only buys and sells jewelry, but equally, it conducts original research, publishing educational catalogs and mounting museum-quality exhibitions.

MAHNAZ COLLECTION showcases collectible original, beautifully crafted, often handmade, work from independent designers, studio jewelers, artists, and select heritage houses. The gallery highlights lost or underrecognized masters and celebrates the work of women makers. Importantly, by selling vintage jewelry, MAHNAZ COLLECTION promotes reuse and supports sustainability. Mahnaz received her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, where she served as Trustee, and her Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University. She is currently a Trustee of the New York Public Library and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Ariana Bishop
is scheduled to complete her master’s degree in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center in May 2022. She has worked as a research assistant for the jeweler William Harper, as program coordinator for New York City Jewelry Week, and as a curatorial research associate at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Darcy L Evon is the author of Arts & Crafts Metalwork & Jewelry 1890-1940 (2014)) which documents the Arts & Crafts Movement in the Midwest. She is historian for the Kalo Foundation located in Park Ridge, IL. Darcy is an avid collector and freelance writer who is a former columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and former editor for L Street Magazine.

Robin Jaffee Frank, Ph.D, curated the exhibition and authored the accompanying book Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures (Yale University Press, 2000). The exhibition opened at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, CT., and traveled to the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, and Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, in Andover, MA. Robin continued to explore how American art frames memory in essays published in Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (vol. 1, 2006; vol. 2, 2011) and in Becoming America: Highlights from the Jonathan and Karin Fielding Collection (2020). In 202o-21 she taught a course titled Love and Loss: Framing Memory in American Art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

An independent curator, Robin has organized numerous exhibitions at museums throughout the US, lectured extensively, and published widely on American visual culture from the colonial through contemporary periods. She formerly served as Chief Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, and Senior Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven. Robin holds a PhD in the history of art from Yale University.

Elyse Zorn Karlin
is the co-director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts along with Yvonne Markowitz. She is a freelance curator, author of several books, and a frequent lecturer. The most recent exhibition she curated was “Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age at the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA.

Harrice Simons Miller is an internationally recognized jewelry historian, consultant, appraiser, author and dealer in collectible fashion jewelry. She is the author of five jewelry books, including three price guides, Kenneth Jay Lane: Faking It, and Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger, for which she was the Guest Curator for the exhibition of the same name at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2013-14. 

Penny Morrill, Ph.D. has developed a history of modern Mexican silver, using primary sources. She established the Sutherland-Taxco Collection at Tulane University’s Latin American Library.

Dr. Morrill’s books include Mexican Silver (1994, 4th edition, 2007), Silver Masters of Mexico (1996), Maestros de Plata, an exhibit catalog (2002-2004), Margot Van Voorhies (2011), and Dreaming in Silver/Soñar en Plata in Spanish and English (2019). She remains committed to supporting contemporary Mexican silver designers.

Diana Pardue is the Chief Curator at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ. She is the author of several books, including Shared Images: The Innovative Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird and Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry. She has written about jewelry for Ornament Magazine and American Indian Art Magazine. Diana has curated a number of exhibitions including “Symmetry in Stone, The Jewelry of Richard I. Chavez”.


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