"Jewelry: The Body Transformed," at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York announces "Jewelry: The Body Transformed," an exhibition that examines how jewelry acts upon and stimulates the body it adorns — as well as the reactions it provokes. The exhibition, scheduled to open on November 12, 2018, will be on view through February 24, 2019.
The show proposes the questions, "What is jewelry? Why do we wear it? What meanings does it convey?" with a showcase of some 230 objects drawn from the museum's collection.
"The exhibition will open with a dramatic installation that emphasizes the universality of jewelry — precious objects made for the body, a singular and glorious setting for the display of art," the museum writes. "Great jewelry from around the world will be presented in a radiant display that groups these ornaments according to the part of the body they adorn: head and hair; nose, lips, and ears; neck and chest; arms and hands; and waist, ankles, and feet. A dazzling array of headdresses and ear ornaments, brooches and belts, necklaces and rings created between 2600 B.C.E. and the present day will be shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that will enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells."
"Jewelry: The Body Transformed" would showcase a stunning array of ornaments — headdresses, ear adornments, brooches, belts, necklaces and rings dating from 2600 B.C.E. through the present day. These will be shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that will supplement the stories of transformation that jewelry tells.
The thematically organized exhibition is sectioned in five parts. The first part "The Divine Body" will explore one of the earliest conceptions of jewelry—its link to immortality. The highlight of this part includes a rare "head-to-toe ensemble from ancient Egypt that accompanied the elite into the afterlife." It also showcases Royal Cemetery of Ur, implicated in one of the most mysterious rituals of ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq)and the lavish regalia of the rulers of Calima.
The second part, 'The Regal Body' examines how jewelry was used throughout history to assert rank and status, while the next section 'The Transcendent Body' highlights how jewelry is used to "traverse the temporal and spiritual realms." Sculpted images and exquisite jewelry from India, that were used in Hindu worship, splendid ornamentations from Coastal New Guinea, designed shell and feathers are highlights of this section.
Referring to "The Alluring Body," the fourth section explores how jewelry engenders desire, The Met says. "It showcases woodblock prints and period ornaments will convey the ways in which hairdressing indicated a courtesan's availability in Edo Japan. Photographs and spectacular jewels will highlight the eroticism of pearls in the Victorian era and beyond. Jewelry designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, Art Smith, Elsa Peretti, and Shaun Leane will document how Contemporary artists push the limits of glamour, courting danger and even pain."
The final chapter of the show, "The Resplendent Body" will call out the marriage of material and technique for the purpose of ostentation. It showcases, among others, collections from legendary jewelry houses as Tiffany, Castellani, and Lalique.
With a phenomenal selection of objects — new acquisitions, acknowledged masterpieces, and recent discoveries, the exhibition aims test assumptions about the role of jewelry since early history, and "confirm that these precious objects are among the most potent vehicles of cultural memory."
The exhibition, will be on view from November 12, 2018, through February 24, 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA.
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.
Founder: Louise Blouin
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