Jennifer Trask, ‘Intrinsecus’, 2010, Museum of Arts and Design

Image rights: Photo courtesy of Ed Watkins

About Jennifer Trask

Fascinated by “cabinets of curiosities” like Wunderkammer and the Victorian Curios, Jennifer Trask creates opulent, delicate objects inspired by nature from found materials such as feathers, shells, wood, bone, and antlers. In the tradition of the Dutch Vanitas, her pieces remind us of the ephemeral nature of earthly pleasures and the transience of life. They range from wearable jewelry—such as the Queen Anne’s Lace brooch made from python and rattlesnake ribs and sewing needles, or Apophysis: Acantha a brooch and earrings embedded in an encaustic painting with silver and moonstones, ivory, palladium, and gold and contained in a found frame—to large wall installations such as Intrinsecus (2010), made from a found 19th-century gilded Italian frame, teeth, antlers, bone, and silver and gold leaf. “Stylistically,” she explains, “my work is influenced by the instrumentation and aesthetics of early sciences as well as the actual methodologies of collection and display.”

American, b. 1970, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, based in Hudson Valley, New York