Austrian-born Angela Cummings immigrated to the United States at age three and returned to Europe to study at the Art Academy in Perugia, Italy, and at the Zeichenakademie in Germany. A skilled designer and metalsmith — her training was in goldsmithing and gemology — she joined Tiffany & Co. in 1967, and eight years later designed her own collection for the renowned store under her name, which was a notable achievement; at the time, Tiffany had very few name-brand designers whose work was sold in the store. Paloma Picasso, Jean Schlumberger, and Elsa Peretti are among those few who enjoyed this esteemed honor. In 1984, she left Tiffany and opened her own boutique diagonally opposite Tiffany in Bergdorf Goodman, and soon her work was sold in numerous prestigious boutiques around the country.
Cummings’ exquisite jewelry is most often characterized by flowing lines, sculptural forms, and organic shapes, frequently inspired by nature — graceful leaves, interestingly shaped shells, ethereal feathers, delicate flowers, and even insects. She works in both 18K gold and sterling silver, and sometimes uses nontraditional accents, such as wood, in addition, of course, to eye-catching precious and semi-precious gems. Her pieces often feature noteworthy textures, such as matte surfaces and brushed planes. Some of her earlier works used color boldly — inlays of jade or lapis, perhaps. She has a very loyal following and is collected by her faithful devotees, especially as her production is now quite small.
Ruth J. Katz