Jewels, Gems, and Treasures
Ancient to Modern
“Spectacular…one-of-a-kind…a very sparkly part of our history.”—WCVB-TV
What is a gem? "Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern," the first exhibition in the Museum's new Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery, examines the various roles and meanings associated with a wide range of gem materials. Drawn from the MFA’s collection and select loans, these range from a 24th-century BC Nubian conch shell amulet, to Mary Todd Lincoln’s 19th-century diamond and gold suite, to a 20th-century platinum, diamond, ruby, and sapphire Flag brooch honoring the sacrifices of the Doughboys in World War I.
Today, in the West, we have come to regard diamond, pearl, emerald, sapphire, and ruby as the most precious of materials. That has not always been the case. Other substances have commanded equal attention, from feathers, claws, and mica appliqués to coral and rock crystal, serving a protective role, guarding their wearer from dangerous circumstances or malevolent forces. Other substances, especially those that are rare and available to a select few, are signifiers of wealth and power.
ABOVE: This charming enamel marsh-bird decorated with moonstones and pearls was created by English Arts and Crafts designer Charles Robert Ashbee as a hair ornament that was later converted to a brooch.
El catálogo de la exposición :
Yvonne J. Markowitz
About the Book
A mode of self-expression that can be traced back to the earliest civilizations, jewelry can be as culturally revealing as it is stunningly beautiful. Artful Adornments: Jewelry from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, features over one hundred works of jeweler's art from one of the most comprehensive jewelry collections in the world. With nearly two hundred lavish color illustrations, the dazzling array ranges from an emerald and diamond brooch once owned by cereal-fortune heiress Merriweather Post, to a rock crystal and gold amulet found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen, to a twentieth-century kinetic necklace influenced by the mobiles of Alexander Calder. Magical Jewels, emblems of wealth and power, tokens of affection, adornment as dress, and jewelry as expressions of avant-garde art movements are all discussed, revealing how a jewel painted with chopped bits of a loved one's hair can be just as precious-and no less decorative-than one encrusted with gemstones. Spanning five continents and nearly six millennia, this book introduces the reader to the variety and brilliance of the jeweler's art from around the world and throughout the ages.