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Hermann Jünger was born in Hanau in 1928 and became one of Germany’s most accomplished and innovative goldsmiths, incorporating contemporary intellectual and philosophical leanings into the ancient medium. Though classically trained and a master in an array of techniques, Jünger embraced irregular surfaces, chance and randomness and took a collage-like approach to building up surfaces with both found and precious materials. This approach was largely inspired by his studies with the goldsmith and philosopher Franz Rickert in the early 1950s; Rickert encouraged his students to pursue individualism and experimentation, rather than strive for perfection in technique.
Jünger's brooches of the 1960s, which incorporate enamling, semi-precious gemstones and have a painterly expressiveness, reflect his progressive approach to materials and form. His pendant boxes of the 1980s are perhaps his most enduring contribution to jewelry design, as they emphasize the personal, ritualistic relationship of jewelry to its wearer and the universal desire to “make”. Jünger served as the director of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich for several decades, until his death in 2005.