Gallery Events, Pearl Society

Pearl Society Presents: Wisconsin Pearl Stories

July 22, 2012 | 3:00 – 5:00 pm

George Johnson, Norm Lange and Eve Alfille
Researching Pearls at the Milwaukee Museum, from left Norm Lange, George Johnson & Eve Alfillé.

Wisconsin Pearl Rush historian and journalist George Johnson will be returning to The Pearl Society with friend and fellow pearl aficionado Norman Lange, (also a past Pearl Society speaker) will moderate a lively lecture and discussion titled “Wisconsin Pearl Stories”.

Lange is long-time pearl dealer of natural American freshwater & oriental pearls, among others.

Johnson will be signing copies of the Spring 2012 edition of Wisconsin Magazine of History issue featuring “Wisconsin’s Pearl Craze.”  The first 40 attendees will receive a free copy of this issue!

As many of you know, Natural American pearls were extremely high valued in the nineteenth century, especially in the Art Nouveau era when the asymmetrical forms of nature were favored.  Most of the Jewels from that era in European museums are set with beautiful American natureal pears, as opposed to the round oriental pearls. Of course, once the rush took place, the pearl-bearing mussels took a long time to recover, and pearls now are very few and far between, especially in the face of on going pollution.

When word got around that there were pearls to be found in the Mississippi and its tributaries, there was a big rush, similar to the Gold Rush, which until recently was not documented.  Johnson spoke to our membership about the American Pearl Rush in March of 2011; and has recently published his article “Wisconsin’s Pearl Craze” on the subject in the Spring 2012 edition of Wisconsin Magazine of History.

This meeting of the Pearl Society is a continuation of last year’s discussion of the Pearl Rush, including stories of individual pearls.  Together with Norm Lange, Johnson will go into some detail about identification and collecting of our natural pearls.

Seating is limited.  RSVP below or call (847) 869-7920