1927 - 2004
Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (1927-2004) was born into a creative family in Southern Sweden. In 1943 she visited Swedish silversmith Sigurd Persson in Stockholm and left convinced that she would herself become a silversmith. Soon after she bought a small sheet of silver and began creating, her first creations soon sold, so she could afford to buy more silver and continue with her experiment. Two years later, an eighteen-year-old Torun was accepted to Konstfackskolen in Stockholm, graduating in 1948. She then opened her own studio in Stockholm.
In 1948 Torun married a French architect (her second marriage) and divided her time between Paris and Stockholm. Torun was designing jewellery that was simple, innovative and sculptural. She wanted to accentuate the value of the woman with jewellery of silver and semi-precious stones, rather than making status-seeking jewellery. She created with the independent, working woman in mind, who in the office might wear a simple neck ring and, in the evening, add an elegant pendant. This was a turbulent time for Torun, after another divorce she married the afro American painter Walter Coleman and the couple moved to the French Riviera.
Coleman introduced her to his many artist connections. While walking on the beach Torun met Pablo Picasso, who was fascinated by her jewellery and artistic method. They met again in 1958 and Torun was given a solo exhibition at Picasso’s museum in Antibes, the exhibition was such a success it continued until 1960. Torun’s jewellery designs boomed in the 1950’s, her friend Billie Holiday performed several times wearing Torun jewellery. In 1959 the leading French art magazine Connaissance de Arts wrote an article, in which Torun was the only applied artist, together with Picasso, Braque, Dalí, Max Ernst, Calder and Giacometti. The article featured these artists jewellery creations. In 1960 she was awarded the Danish Lunning prize and the same year won gold at the Milan Triennale.
I 1967 Torun was offered a collaboration with Georg Jensen Silversmithy, where she would be contracted to Jensen as a designer and Georg Jensen would have the rights to produce her designs. By relinquishing the production side, Torun was able to concentrate on designing. Already in 1967 Georg Jensen adapted her design for a bangle watch, a watch that achieved iconic status and is still produced by Georg Jensen today. In 1968 Torun designed her brooch interpretation of the Möbius band. In her design Torun sought after an essential simplicity; no decoration, only a sculptural form in silver, made by the most skilled artisans of the time.
In the 1970’s Torun moved to Indonesia, where she established a workshop, a social project, that donated all profits to charity. In 1992 she was awarded the Prins Eugen medal by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden for her unique artistic contributions. In 2002 she moved to Copenhagen and designed her last jewellery collection for Georg Jensen, in connection with the 100th Anniversary of Georg Jensen Silversmithy in 2004.