David Yurman, American Jewelry Designer

David Yurman grew up on Long Island, NY and first exhibited his artistry selling little sculptures in his high school cafeteria. At age 16, he was introduced to Cuban welder and sculptor Ernesto Gonzales while visiting his sister in Provincetown, MA. With sculpture, David found an outlet and focus for his creativity, which he would develop over the next two decades as an apprentice under the tutelage of renowned sculptors Theodore Roszak and Jacques Lipchitz (Lipchitz a frequent collaborator with Picasso and Modigliani). Following a year at NYU, David left college and hitchhiked across the country to California where he found refuge in the beatnik artist colony of Big Sur. In the late 1960s, David returned from his bohemian sojourn to Greenwich Village where he worked with sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp. It was in Van de Bovenkamp’s studio that David met Sybil Kleinrock, a gifted painter who, like David, recently returned from the beatnik scene in California.

While wearing one of David’s pieces to an art opening, Sybil caught the eye of the gallery owner who asked if it was for sale. Although David couldn’t dream of recreating something that was so personal to him, Sybil saw an opportunity. In the early 1970s, the couple moved to the countryside and formed Putnam Art Works. Throughout the decade, David and Sybil exhibited their designs and paintings at craft fairs, and in 1979 they married. Through the operation of Putnam Art Works, the couple learned the marketplace for fine crafts and jewelry, laying the groundwork for the founding of David Yurman, the brand and company, in 1980. Soon after, Yurman caused a sensation with his iconic cable bracelet. Since then, the company has gone on to produce jewelry and watch collections for men and women, as well as a signature fragrance and eyewear collection.