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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

© Wendy Ramshaw / Photo: Mike Hallson
British, born 1939
Ringstand with Nine Rings and Base
18k gold, garnets, pink sapphires, rubies, acrylic, and brass

Rings and Ringstand: 6 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/16 inches
Base: 4 1/4 x 1/8 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of the Morgan Foundation in honor of Catherine Asher Morgan

Arts of Europe

Since her postgraduate days in the early 1970s, Wendy Ramshaw has been making rings, clusters of which have adorned turned pillars in a seemingly inexhaustible progression of possibilities and combinations. Rather than following a single organizing principle, her vocabulary of geometric and abstract shapes renews itself in each composition as the manipulation of its syncopated rhythms yields fresh points of view.

Ramshaw conceives her cluster rings in conjunction with stands, at first made from either acrylic or metal but later featuring metal with inlaid resin. Functionally, the ringstands serve as storage/display units for when the rings are not worn. Yet with their highly architectural and sculptural forms, the stands achieve a role beyond their intended function. They make a sculptural statement that removes the entire composition from the realm of jewelry. On rare occasions—for exhibition purposes only—Ramshaw has made coordinating bases for her ringstands, as seen here.