Katzwinkel_jewelry_LRHenry Katzwinkel
Little Things Gallery
February 19 – October 17, 2016

An opening reception will be held on
Gallery Night, Friday, March 11 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The work of Henry “Hank” Katzwinkel (1926-2015) has a timeless quality informed by the artist’s vast experience as a world traveler.  “As a craftsman, I am influenced by whatever surrounds me,” Katzwinkel declared. He drew inspiration from his travels and experiences and used materials from the places he visited, including stones and wood, in his designs. There is a simple elegance to his work, and, although subtle, it is easy to see the international influences. His designs recall the art of ancient Egypt and Japan, as well as the traditional jewelry designs of many other cultures. He has taken traditional designs and combined them with a clean metal surface and the complex patterns in the stones. This make the work feel both old and new, combining traditional styles with modern aesthetic and technique.

His favorite form was the matching necklace and earring set, which he used to showcase stones, wood, and ivory he acquired on his travels. Katzwinkel used a variety of techniques to make his jewelry. He fabricated, forged, cast and embossed, using silver and gold to create his works. His excellent craftsmanship and design can be seen in every detail, down to the clasp of a necklace.

Katzwinkel was both an artist and an art educator. He earned his Bachelors in Art Education from Edinboro State Teachers’ College, and a Masters of Education from Penn State. While at Penn State, he specialized in jewelry and metalsmithing, which he eventually taught at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  He furthered his education through extra graduate credits taken at the Cleveland Art Institute and Buffalo State University. Katzwinkel also traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states, much of Europe, Canada, and some of South America and Asia.

Beyond being a teacher, Katzwinkel was also very involved in his community. He gave lectures at universities, clubs, art centers and galleries in the Erie area. He spoke about his travels, European art, hollowware, craftsman, and photography.  His involvement and leadership in the arts community and his support of the Museum led to naming the southwest corner gallery of the Customs House after him in 2010. After retiring from Edinboro in 1991, Katzwinkel opened a business, which he called “Katzwinkel’s Peerless Ornaments.” In 2003, he had an exhibition at the Erie Art Museum by the same name.


Work by Henry Katzwinkel (1926-2015) is on view in the Little Things Gallery. While Katzwinkel spent most of his career in metalsmithing, he also dabbled in other media. Pictured here is one of Katzwinkel’s early paintings from the Museum’s collection. Katzwinkel’s experience as a world traveler greatly influenced his artwork. Just as his painting references ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art, Katzwinkel’s jewelry designs were also inspired by his global travels as he often integrated materials from the places he visited into his designs.