Sterling Character

Contemporary British silver

In November, an ambitiously titled show, Modern, Dashing & In Vogue, at Keith Lipert's Georgetown gallery, showcases contemporary British silver through examples of modern takes on this ancient metal. "'Silver' in the past meant your parents' silver. It was all about function, weddings, and flatware, and usually put away when it wasn't in use," Lipert says. "We're showing things that are both functional and beautiful." The 40 artists represented bring sculptural sensibility and humor to quotidian objects—for example, Charles Hall's elegant glass-and-silver decanter, with a silver ball balanced precariously at the spout, and Anton Pruden and Rebecca Smith's series of hammered-sterling bowls. For Lipert, who mounted a similar show of modern Italian works two years ago, silver is a barometer of progress. "There's a wonderful old saying: 'man measures his wealth in gold and his culture in silver.'" (2922 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-965-9736.)