About Patania Jewelry
Three generations of Patania men have been working for over 70 years, creating jewelry and decorative objects that have come to be known for their excellence in craftsmanship and design.
In October 2000, Kenneth Trapp, co-curator of the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, took possession of three Patania bracelets (Fig. 1, 2, 3) to be placed in the museum's permanent jewelry collection.
The renowned Renwick Gallery's acknowledgment of the family's work came as no surprise to those who were already admirers, clients, and collectors of Patania pieces, but the move did confirm the family's important role in 20th century jewelry.
Trapp himself perhaps said it best, in talking to the Arizona Daily Star, October 25, 2000 about the acquired Patania bracelets: "I really feel that these three pieces represent the very best of craftspeople and designers. What interests me is the quality of design-they're absolutely stunning."
Frank Patania Jr. continued his father’s tradition and brought a Modernist mastery into the Patania repertoire. Frank Jr. was compelled by pure craftsmanship to explore his art and push Patania design beyond the Southwest to become fashionable in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The many museums which collect Patania jewelry, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Art, attest to the broad appeal of Patania design and definitive craftsmanship.
Sam Patania has continued his family’s tradition in classic design and craftsmanship. Sam is recognized as an influence in couture jewelry. Building on both his predecessor’s design influences Sam has taken them to a national level by incorporating precious metals and stones. Sam’s passion for jewelry and the studio heritage spur him to explore the art of technique and design. Since opening the family business in Santa Fe, NM in 1927, the Patania family has always created distinctive jewelry that art collectors around world recognize and prize for uncompromising standards of excellence.
Frank Patania, Sr., Floral Spray, c. 1940. Fabricated sterling silver with Burnham turquoise.
Frank Patania, Jr., Elliptical bracelet, c. 1960. Fabricated sterling silver. According to Frank Jr., the object's design and craftsmanship should speak for itself.
Sam Patania, Bracelet, Fabricated 18k white gold with opposed bar tourmaline. Sam's work is the melding of generations-he places great importance on his choice of stones, just like his grandfather, but has taken his father's eye for technical detail to heart, as well.
The art of Silver Jewelry was brought to the Southwestern United States by Spanish colonials. The art came with a strong Mediterranean influence which incorporated all the cultures of that region. Patania Jewelry is influenced by this Mediterranean tradition because Frank Patania Sr. was born in Sicily. When Frank arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1920’s he was already a highly regarded craftsmen who’s sense of design influenced Native American jewelry and was in turn influenced by flavor of the Southwest.
Meet Sam Patania
As a teenager, Sam apprenticed to his father and over the next ten years he learned and came to love the art of jewelry. When Sam took over the family business in 1990, he began to define himself as an artist, evolving his personal vision of this artform.
In 1999 the Tucson Museum of Art gave the Patania family the Contemporary Southwest Images XIV show and exhibit: The Stonewall Foundation Series titled "The Patanias: A Legacy in Silver and Gold".
The family's artistic recognition was again celebrated when the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art accepted three pieces, one from each Patania generation into the permanent collection at the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC.
Since that time Sam has continued to define himself as an artist. Sam has paid close attention to the fashion world because he believes that in order to be an evolving contemporary artist in jewelry he must understand where his work fits into the world of fashion. Sam is sensitive to the power, strength and confidence that fashion brings to everyday life. Through this insight, he continues to create highly valued designs that are becoming classics because they will always be in style.
Let Sam Patania's Designs: Sam Patania Collection, Sam Patania Couture and Sam Patania Vintage become your signature fashion pieces.
Take pleasure in choosing jewelry that is a joy to wear.
Savour the feelings of confidence and passion when you wear original designs that define your style.
Dress them up or down, you will cherish a Sam Patania original work of art.