Josie Natori

The Museum of Arts and Design is gearing up for the 19th installment of “LOOT: MAD About Jewelry.”

The annual event is double-barreled with an exhibition and sale of one-of-a kind contemporary jewelry. Set to bow on April 9, the show will feature the work of 55 up-and-coming and more established international jewelry artists and designers from 18 countries and territories. The majority of the participants will be presenting in New York for the first time.

During the opening benefit gala on April 8, designers and philanthropists Adria de Haume and Josie Natori will be presented with the LOOT awards. Natori recently introduced some signature loot to her own company — unveiling ready-to-wear for her Natori label. Natori is active on boards for the Asian Cultural Council, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation (with the second two groups planning their own galas this spring). Honored to receive the award “from a museum that celebrates design art and craft, which I live in and love,” Natori said, “Barbara Tober persuaded me. She is such a force and I have great admiration for what she has done for the museum. Besides, I am a jewelry fanatic, so I very much connected with the event.”

The LOOT Acquisition award will also be given at the opening event. This year’s jury is chaired by Barbara Paris Gifford and Elissa Auther, with LOOT co-chairs Joan Hornig and Marsy Mittlemann, LOOT curator Bryna Pomp and board chair Michele Cohen. This year’s host committee for the opening benefit has numerous fashion types including Iris Apfel, Lela Rose, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Kay Unger and Lynn Yaeger among others. Paolo Costagli New York is back on board as LOOT’s corporate sponsor.

The international lineup for LOOT 2019 includes Italian designer Selvaggia Armani, Japan-born and Massachusetts-based artist Mariko Kusumoto, Taiwanese jewelry artist Heng Lee, Scotland-based artist Wanshu Li, Houston-based designer Mariquita Masterson and four 2018 graduates of La Escuela de Arte 3.

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