Prev MonthPrev Month Next MonthNext Month
Caucus Afternoon of Learning - A Pure Silver Experience
Saturday, February 29, 2020, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Caucus Afternoon of Learning - A Pure Silver Experience 

Saturday, February 29, 2020 | 12pm - 3pm
District Architecture Center (Penn Quarter) | 421 7th Street NW, Washington, DC
Request parking passes by Thursday, Feb. 27

$75 Caucus Members

Join the James Renwick Alliance for this rare opportunity to view and experience the work of Belgian silversmiths Thalen and Thalen in a manner that is usually only afforded at a studio visit. The afternoon starts with a catered buffet lunch, followed by a discussion and presentation with silversmith Rob Thalen and his contemporary creations in pure, investment grade silver (.999/000). The Thalens bring silver, an old world material, in to the 21st century: big, bold, organic and touchable.  Rob will talk about working large-scale in precious metals and the techniques that make Thalen and Thalen’s sculptural and functional objects distinctive.

We will also hear from Jessica Wessel, Esq. from Gurr Johns, Inc., and Gary Altman, JD, LLM, CFP® from Altman & Associates.  

Rob Thalen, Silversmith
Thalen &Thalen, Belgium

Rob Thalen studied as a silversmith and began his career as a sculptor in The Netherlands in 1982.  He relocated to Belgium in 2001, where he currently lives in the Ardennes Mountains near the city of Spa.  In 2005 he was joined by his son Jaap, and since then the duo, Thalen & Thalen, has specialized in monumental contemporary works in silver. 

Thalen & Thalen is unique in that its creators work predominantly in fine silver (.999/000), otherwise known as pure silver.  In fact, the duo cites purity as a guiding concept in their work, incorporating purity of both material and expression into every piece.  All of their creations are hallmarked in the Netherlands and receive the requisite government-issued hallmarks.  The Thalen’s work have been exhibited worldwide to include including the recent exhibition of “Frozen Morning Light”, a sculptural piece studded with 300 diamonds in the Shanghai Natural History Museum as a preview for DIVA, a new diamond museum in Antwerp, Belgium. Their works can be found in public and private collections across the globe. 


Jessica D. Wessel, Esq., Senior Vice President,
Business Development, 
Gurr Johns, Inc., New York, NY 

Jessica is a Senior Vice President in business development at Gurr Johns, Inc. where she assists private collectors and institutions with the valuation and disposition of fine art, jewelry, and other types of tangible personal property. She works closely with insurance brokers and carriers, as well as private banks and family offices, to provide clients with comprehensive appraisal and collection management services.

Prior to joining Gurr Johns in 2014, Jessica practiced corporate law at a New York firm where she advised clients on a range of transactional matters, including advice with respect to art funds and art loans. Jessica received her JD from Villanova University School of Law and her BBA from the University of Michigan. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.  Jessica collects contemporary art by emerging artists with an emphasis on art made by women.

Gurr Johns is an art advisory firm that provides advice on sales, acquisitions, philanthropy, insurance, tax and estate planning as it relates to tangible assets. Jessica will talk about deacquisition strategies to include private placement and the role of valuation for philanthropy and protection and management of a collection. In addition, she will discuss gifting under the new IRS rules and the inter-generational issues of art and tangible assets as legacy.


Gary Altman, Esq., Founder and Principal Attorney
Altman & Associates, Rockville, MD

Altman & Associates' practice is dedicated to all aspects of estate law.  Gary and his team of four lawyers have in excess of 70 years combined experience in estate planning and trust and probate administration.  Gary has been repeatedly recognized by Washingtonian magazine and Northern Virginia magazine as among the DC region’s “Best Estate Planners.” He has also been honored as a “Top 100 Attorney” by Worth magazine and likewise recognized as a Maryland and Washington, DC “Super Lawyer.” Gary earned his Master of Law in Taxation (LLM) Degree from Georgetown University Law School and his law degree (JD) from the New York University School of Law in New York City. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He also became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in 1986.


Sponsored by:
Marsh Private Client Services

The Agnew Group
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management