Manfred Bischoff in his studio

Manfred Bischoff

He is one of the most important and innovative jewellery artists of our time and one of the few who dare to tell stories with their jewellery. Manfred Bischoff (1947 – 2015) searched for a long time for the right materials to express his thoughts and feelings. By the end-eighties at the latest, when he was living in Italy, he had found his unmistakable design language: His materials – gold and coral as well as his very special way of presenting the pieces.

Many works include a drawing on which words play an important role in a peculiar script and on which rings, brooches or earrings can find their place, but do not have to. As in the case of “AGITATOR”, a brooch consisting of two thin arms and a large mouth that is wide open, so that one literally believes to hear loud slogans coming out of it. The drawing gives the viewer several starting points from which to approach the work. “It can help or confuse.” Both are good, says Bischoff. But in any case, these sketches, made with a few dynamic strokes, emphasise the lively radiance of the jewellery pieces and at the same time give them a protective frame in Bischoff’s cosmos of references to literature, art history and existential questions of life.

Bischoff was open-minded, he took up trends from pop culture and art and experimented with simple materials, with photography, wire, Duropor and plastic. His years of study with Reinhard Reiling in Pforzheim and Hermann Jünger in Munich and especially his time in Berlin were formative. The ear jewel ‘LUXURY NO’ is anti-capitalist attitude and a bit of rebellious punk. Bischoff also found inspiration in contemporary art. Some brooches made of nickel silver, plastic and other materials are reminiscent of Frank Stella’s assemblages with their collage-like overlays and silhouettes extending into space. “While I was working with these poor materials, I realised that the only material to express my thoughts was gold. Because my ideas were very deep and superficial at the same time.”

Even if you don’t grasp Manfred Bischoff’s narrative works at first glance (you’re not supposed to), they touch you immediately – through beauty, great craftsmanship, warmth, lightness and wit. For us, Bischoff’s works are like little poems, symbolic, emotional and, in the end, enigmatic and perfect precisely for that reason.


  • Born in
  • 1972 -1977 University of Applied Sciences for Design, Pforzheim, Prof. Reinhold Reiling
  • 1977-1982 Academy of Fine Arts, Prof. Hermann Jünger

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2021 Manfred Bischoff, Munich Jewellery Week, Quittenbaum Gallery
  • 2017 ‘Homage to Manfred Bischoff’, Galerie Handwerk, Munich
  • 2016 ‘Helpless in Gold’, MAEC, Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca, Cortona
  • 2015 Memoiral Exhibition, Philadelphia Museum of Art, courtesy Helen W.Drutt Family Collection, Philadelphia
  • 2012 Manfred Bischoff, Miami/Basel Design, Galleria Antonella Villanova, Basel
  • ‘Manfred Bischoff: helpless in gold’, Galleria Antonella Villanova, Florence
  • 2011 ‘Jewelry 2011 – Classics of Modernity’, special show of the 63rd International Craft Fair Munich, Munich & Espace Solidor,Cagnes-sur-Mer
  • 2006 ‘Personale’ Manfred Bischoff, Jewelry+Drawing,Jewelry Museum Pforzheim
  • 2005 ‘Organiche Astrazioni’, Oratorio di San Rocco. Padua
  • 2004 Gallery Sofie Lachaert, Tielrode
  • Organic Abstraction’, Marijke Studio, Padua
  • 2003 Gallery Louise Smit, Kunstrai Amsterdam
  • 2002 ‘Manfred Bischoff’, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • 2000 ‘Jewelry and Drawings by Manfred Bischoff’, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
    Gold !’, Camera Oscura, by Cornelai Lauf, San Casciano de Bagni
  • 1999 ‘Portraits – Contemporary Jewelry’, Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia
    Gallery Louise Smit, Amsterdam
    Gallery Tiller & Ernst, Vienna
  • 1998 Gallery Sofie Lachaert, Antwerp
  • 1997 Gallery Magari, Barcelona
    Gallery Herta Zanschirm, Zurich
  • 1994 SOFA, Helen Drutt, Chicago
  • 1993 ‘replace usual’, Museum Het Kruithius, s’-Hertogenbosch
  • 1989 Gallery Louise Smit, Amsterdam
  • 1987 Manfred Bischoff/ Gabi Dziuba, Gallery Louise Smit, Amsterdam
  • 1985 ‘Jewelry: Manfred Bischoff / Werner Büttner’, Gallery Cada, Munich
  • 1984 ‘Manfred Bischoff / Gabi Dziuba’, Gallery V&V, Vienna
    Gallery Droschl, Graz
    Gallery Cada, Munich

Works in Museum Collections

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Rose-Asenbaum Collection, GER
  • Danner Foundation Collection, Design Museum, Munich, GER
  • Design Museum Den Bosch, s’Hertogenbosch, NL
  • Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin, GER
  • Powerhouse Museum Sydney, AUS
  • RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
  • Jewelry Museum Pforzheim, GER
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Francoise van den Bosch Collection, NL
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, Donna Schneier Collection, USA
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Helen Williams Drutt Collection, USA
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Daphne Farago Collection, USA
  • Museum of Art and Design, NY, USA
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY, Susan Grant Levin Collection, USA
  • Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, Lois Boardman Collection, USA
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, GB