„Pearly Whites“ by Benedikt Fischer. © Benedikt Fischer / MAK

31.08. – 25.09. 2022

The best jewelry designers are awarded the Eligius Prize. Their works are shown in MAK Vienna.

Eligius von Noyon has had a steep career: from blacksmith to goldsmith. But that was some time ago. He is said to have lived in the seventh century.

He is said to have made the discovery that once a horse’s leg has been chopped off, it can no longer be forged (a miracle of knowledge, in a way!). This miracle later – understandably – made him the patron saint of goldsmiths and jewelry designers. Every profession needs someone like that.

At the turn of the millennium in the third millennium, a prize for outstanding jewelry design was to be established in Salzburg. When searching for a suitable name for the prize, the miracle goldsmith of the 7th century came to mind. The prince-archbishop tradition of Salzburg still has an effect today, it seems.

This prize has been awarded every 3 years since 2005. The works of this year’s nominees and award winners can now be seen in an exhibition at the MAK in Vienna. They don’t try to forge legs on horses anymore, but sometimes they give shells teeth, as Benedikt Fischer’s work shows. The main prize, endowed with 7,000 EUR, went to Lilian Naomi, who uses different types of wood to create brutally raw whole-body jewelry necklaces, which Eligius, who has advanced from blacksmith to fine goldsmith, would certainly have seen with great astonishment.

31.08. – 25.09. 2022
MAK Vienna