Jewelry: The Body Transformed | Met Exhibitions

Jewelry: The Body Transformed | Met Exhibitions

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Because jewelry is often small scale you might
overlook it. This is an exhibition that is meant to pull
out those small treasures drawn almost entirely from The Met’s collection. Taking this global approach alongside sculptures,
paintings, photographs to enrich the kinds of stories we’re trying to tell about jewelry. What distinguishes jewelry from any other
art form it’s worn on the human body. The very center of the whole exhibition we’ll
take you from toe to head. We’re actually trying to insert the body
and the practices around jewelry back into the discussion. It’s as much about aesthetics as it is about
meaning. Adornment is one of the most meaningful activities
that we engage in. Jewelry is often linked to the gods and is
often linked to royalty. Specifically, looking at Oceanic material
we learned of the importance of jewelry in invoking ancestors. But this is something we also see in the West
when we have jewelry that includes the hair of your grandmother. Family memory, this is a meaning that jewelry
carries across cultures. Throughout the show we’ll look how jewelry
engenders desire making us bodies to be looked at. The show certainly includes some of the great
names in jewelry Tiffany, Lalique, Boucheron alongside contemporary jewelers Calder, Schiaparelli,
Shaun Leane who are manipulating the body to the extreme. This is a show that really speaks to those
magical qualities of jewelry. To remind us that jewelry has a kind of agency
that both carries meaning and that does something to us when we wear it.


  1. Interesting. So according to the thesis of this exhibition, what is the definition of jewellery? What does an object need to be considered jewellery?

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