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Irena Brynner papers, 1914-2003

Brynner, Irena F., 1917-2003

Singer, Sculptor, Jeweler

Collection Information

Size: 14.2 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of jeweler Irena Brynner measure 14.2 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 2003. The papers document Brynner's career as a jeweler in California and New York through biographical material including sound recordings of her diary; correspondence with family, friends, and art organizations; diaries, notebooks, and other writings; exhibition announcements, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs and slides; artwork including eight sketchbooks; and eleven scrapbooks.

Biographical/Historical Note

Irena Brynner (1917-2003) was jeweler, sculptor, and opera singer who worked primarily in New York City. Brynner was born in Vladivostok, Russia. Her father was a member of the Swiss diplomatic corp, and she spent her youth living in China, Japan, and France. Brynner immigrated to the United States prior to World War II where she began her career as jeweler. Brynner was the cousin of actor, Yul Brynner, and worked in the San Francisco Bay area through the 1950s before moving to New York City. Brynner held exhbitions across the United States, throughout Europe, and in Japan.


The Irena Brynner papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ragnar D. Ness, executor of the Irena Brynner Estate, in 2004.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English, French, Russian, and German.


The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.