The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 15, 2019


Exhibition explores how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns
Broad Collar of Wah, Egyptian, ca. 1981.1975 B.C. (40.3.2).


NEW YORK, NY.- What is jewelry? Why do we wear it? What meanings does it convey? On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition Jewelry: The Body Transformed traverses time and space to explore how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns. This global conversation about one of the most personal and universal of art forms brings together some 230 objects drawn almost exclusively from The Met collection. A dazzling array of headdresses and ear ornaments, brooches and belts, necklaces and rings created between 2600 B.C.E. and the present day are being shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells.

“Jewelry is one of the oldest modes of creative expression—predating even cave painting by tens of thousands of years—and the urge to adorn ourselves is now nearly universal,” commented Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “This exhibition will examine the practice of creating and wearing jewelry through The Met’s global collection, revealing the many layers of significance imbued in this deeply meaningful form of art.”

If the body is a stage, jewelry is one of its most dazzling performers. Throughout history and across cultures, jewelry has served as an extension and amplification of the body, accentuating it, enhancing it, distorting it, and ultimately transforming it. Jewelry is an essential feature in the acts that make us human, be they rituals of marriage or death, celebrations or battles. At every turn, it expresses some of our highest aspirations.

“To fully understand the power of jewelry, it is not enough to look at it as miniature sculpture,” stated Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. “While jewelry is ubiquitous, the cultures of the world differ widely regarding where on the body it should be worn. By focusing on jewelry’s interaction with—and agency upon—the human body, this exhibition brings in a key element that has been missing in previous studies of the subject.”

The exhibition opens 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. Great jewelry from around the world is being 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.

The remaining galleries have been organized thematically by the kinds of performances jewelry orchestrates. The Divine Body examines one of the earliest conceptions of jewelry—its link to immortality. Featured here is a rare head-to-toe ensemble from ancient Egypt that accompanied the elite into the afterlife, as well as items from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, implicated in one of the most mysterious rituals of ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). Also highlighted is the regalia of the rulers of Calima (present-day Colombia), who were lavishly covered in sheets of gold.

The Regal Body examines the use of jewelry throughout history to assert rank and status. Among the examples on display are sapphires and pearls from Byzantium, finely wrought gold from the elites of Hellenistic Greece, and ivory and bronze from the Royal Courts of Benin.

The Transcendent Body focuses on how jewelry is used to traverse the temporal and spiritual realms. This section celebrates jewelry’s power to conjure spirits, appease gods, and invoke ancestors. Sculpted images and exquisite jewelry from India underscore the active role of gold ornaments in Hindu worship. Adornments from Coastal New Guinea, splendidly fashioned from shell and feathers, speak to jewelry’s capacity to channel the spiritual well-being of the wearer.

The Alluring Body explores how jewelry engenders desire. Woodblock prints and period ornaments convey the ways in which hair dressing indicated a courtesan’s availability in Edo Japan. Photographs and spectacular jewels highlight the eroticism of pearls in the Victorian era and beyond. Jewelry designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, Art Smith, Elsa Peretti, and Shaun Leane document how contemporary artists push the limits of glamour, courting danger and even pain.

The Resplendent Body calls out the marriage of material and technique for the purpose of ostentation. Why wear jewelry, if not to be seen? Examples include the opulent adornment of the Mughals; the aesthetic of accumulation in the gold and silver jewelry of the Akan and Fon peoples of West Africa; and the elegant designs of such legendary jewelry houses as Castellani, Lalique, and Tiffany & Co. Contemporary jewelry makers—including Peter Chang, Joyce J. Scott, and Daniel Brush—who question and re-imagine notions of luxury and adornment also are being celebrated.

Replete with new acquisitions, acknowledged masterpieces, and recent discoveries from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jewelry: The Body Transformed tests assumptions about what jewelry is and has been. It also confirms that these precious objects are among the most potent vehicles of cultural memory.

The exhibition represents a dynamic, collaborative partnership of six curators—lead curator Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, consulting curator Beth Carver Wees, the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts, The American Wing; Kim Benzel, Curator in Charge, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; Diana Craig Patch, the Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge, Department of Egyptian Art; Soyoung Lee, the Landon and Lavinia Chief Curator, Harvard Art Museums; and Joanne Pillsbury, the Andrall E. Pearson Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas—assisted by Hannah Korn, Collections Management Coordinator, Medieval Art and The Cloisters, with Moira Gallagher, Research Assistant, The American Wing.






Today's News

January 1, 2019

Bell Rock Lighthouse lights up Turner in January at National Galleries of Scotland

Vito Schnabel opens its first solo exhibition with New York-based artist Tom Sachs

Phoenix Art Museum announces major gift of contemporary Latin American artworks

Exhibition explores how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns

Centre Pompidou presents 2019 France–Romania cycle

Record prices in 2018 U.S. rare coin market, reports Professional Numismatists Guild

British Library awarded £9.2 million for a major new project set to revolutionise research

Outsider Art Fair announces exhibitors for its 27th New York edition

Marc Straus announces the release of Jeanne Silverthorne's first limited-edition monograph

Exhibition links together Egon Schiele's drawings to tell the story of the artist's brief life

Feminist filmmakers tackle adult movie machismo

Exhibition of large-scale works on paper by David X. Levine opens at Zevitas Marcus

TEFAF New York Spring 2019 announces new exhibitors

Bonniers Konsthall presents an exhibition of works by Peter Liversidge

Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Parreno and Charlotte Pryce headline Rotterdam Film Festival

Science-inspired art looks beyond the "seen" to appreciate the beauty and mystery of the "unseen"

The Asia Contemporary Art Show returns for its 14th edition next spring

1885 Trade Dollar kicks off Heritage's highly anticipated FUN offerings, Jan. 9-14

Not seen in 30 years: Rare $100 1878 Silver Certificate surfaces

Galerie Alexis Pentcheff to present a selection of postimpressionist and modern works at BRAFA

Members of the public asked to help find missing portrait which inspired the world's first gothic novel

Israelis mourn writer and peace advocate Amos Oz

See Venice, but pay an entry fee first

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful