CJCI Magazine, Summer 2010 – Vol. 1, Issue 2
CJCI Exclusive Presentation:
Judith Hendler: Past, Present and Future
Discovering Hendler’s Past
Vintage Judith Hendler Black and White Single Wrap Bypass Bracelet
by Erik Yang
In my fledgling days as a vintage jewelry dealer, a friend and I came to Dallas to sell at my first official antiques show. The vendor across from us had a dizzying array of merchandise, but one piece caught my attention: an unsigned tubular clear necklace with a huge hot pink prism drop. I asked the vendor how much, and she replied “I bought that at Saks 10 years ago and I’d like to get back what I paid, $45.” I scraped together what funds I had and scurried down the aisle with my new mystery jewel. It wasn’t until a few years later when I found another piece with its original paper tag that I discovered the maker.
After years of admiring the work and showcasing it on my website, imagine my surprise when I a got a call from a puzzled lady inquiring where I had purchased the bold mink Lucite necklace on my home page. When I asked why she needed to know, she said “…because I made that necklace, I’m Judith Hendler!”
Over the years I’ve learned of many an artistic venture Judith’s had in her career, none of which surprise me considering she was surrounded by creative people in her formative years. Her mother, an aspiring costumier, created avant-garde ensembles for Judith’s aunt who was dancing at the time. Judith says “the designs rivaled Chanel,” and the duo even attempted to open a design business. Unfortunately, the times were different for an aspiring female artist back then, something Judith would also encounter and later conquer.