Exhibitions Archive - by use
Beadwork Adorns the World
Extraordinary how a small glass bead from the island of Murano (Venice, Italy) or the mountains of Bohemia (Czech Republic) can travel around the world, entering into the cultural life of people far distant. Glass beads are the ultimate migrants. Where they start out is seldom where they end up. No matter where they originate, the locale that uses them makes them into something specific to their own world view. This exhibition is about what happens to these beads when they arrive at their final destination, whether it be the African continent (Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa), to Borneo, to Burma, to India, Native North America to Latin America (Mexico, Bolivia to Ecuador). However, this exhibition is not actually about beads, rather it is about the working beads resulting in Beadwork, and what a collective of beads in a garment or an object reveals about the intentions of its makers or users.
22/04/2018 - 3/02/2019
Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, on Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505, USA
Perlkunst aus Afrika
Bead Art from Africa. The Mottas Collection
The exhibition on the aesthetic and meaning of beadwork focuses for the first time on women as artists. Whether in the shape of fine ornaments, impressive masks, or royal stools – bead art from southern, eastern and western Africa is admired for the delicacy of its workmanship and the diversity of styles. Manufactured in Europe for the African market from the 17th century on, glass beads are indicative of the early stages of globalization. However, glass beads never merely served decorative or ornamental purposes; the colours and designs also convey intricate messages about age, gender, and identity of the persons wearing the pieces. With the Mottas collection, an undisclosed treasure trove has found its way to the Museum Rietberg which both adds to and enhances the existing Africa collection. In the exhibition old beadworks are juxtaposed with contemporary positions from South Africa. To this day, this significant cultural heritage remains a source of inspiration for artists and fashion designers.
7/06/2018 – 21/10/2018
Museum Rietberg, Gablerstrasse 15, CH-8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Beads: A Universe of Meaning
This exhibition traces the history of imported glass beads as a medium of exchange, artistic expression, and identity for indigenous peoples throughout North America. It features garments, articles of adornment, and works of art dating from circa 1850 to the present, and examines the ways in which makers of beadwork have simultaneously sustained tradition, engaged with popular culture, and developed a uniquely native art form.
14/05/2017 - 15/04/2018
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe NM 87505, USA
Strung Together - Beads, People, and History
'Strung Together' celebrates beads and beadwork from around the world, spanning thousands of years and six continents. Blending items from our anthropological collections with works by contemporary artists, 'Strung Together' invites you to discover a world of stories behind the beauty of beads.
8/04/2016 – 5/02/2017
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH), 1680 E. 15th Ave., Eugene, OR 97403-1224, USA
Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead
Symbolizing power, enabling ornamentation, and facilitating trade, glass beads are miniature masterpieces that have played significant roles throughout time and across cultures. This major exhibition explores glass beads and beaded objects made by various cultures, representing 3,500 years of human history. and will showcase, for the first time, many important works from the large historical glass bead collection of The Corning Museum of Glass as well as objects on loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Eliot Elisofon Photo Archives at the National Museum of African Art, Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Fenimore Art Museum, Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and Longyear Anthropology Museum at Colgate University. Highlights of the exhibition include early Venetian chevron and millefiori beads, Roman mosaic beads, West Africa bodom beads, Egyptian eye beads, Chinese horned eye beads, Japanese magatama beads, Bohemian beads imitating precious stones, North American beadworked garments, and contemporary beaded objects by Joyce Scott and David Chatt.
18/05/2013 – 5/01/2014
The Corning Museum of Glass, One Museum Way - Corning, NY 14830, USA
La via delle perle. Sulle rotte dei velieri da Venezia al Mondo
The way of the beads. On the sailing routes from Venice to the world
A homage to the extraordinary art and colour of Venetian glass beads, and their voyages throughout the world, from the streets of the island of Murano to the tribes and exotic landscapes of Africa and America. In these continents, transfigured into symbols and powerful talismans, the glass beads are mounted in majestic jewels made to adorn and protect not only the people but also their sacred objects and animist fetishes.
23/03/2013 – 12/05/2013
Museo del Bijou, Via Azzo Porzio, 9 - 26041 - Casalmaggiore (CR), Italy
Perlen aus Glas. Farbige Geschichten
Glass beads. Colourful stories
This exhibition invites visitors into a treasure chamber of glass beads from around the world. It tells the surprising stories of the use and significance of glass beads in different cultures: tales of Viking beads which travelled from Tashkent in the Caucasus, to the Viking Aros, Aarhus today, of elegant Venetian beads from the 19th Century, of beads of the rain forest of Borneo, to beads that adorn the Greenland national costume and were brought there by European fishermen. The exhibition represents substantial parts of the collection of the Danish curator Torben Sode. He is an expert in the field of historical beads and has published several studies on this topic. His collection includes objects from antiquity to the present day and has already received several international awards. A catalogue of the exhibition is available from the museum
4/11/2011 – 25/03/2012
LWL-Industriemuseum. Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Industriekultur, Petershagen-Ovenstädt, Germany
The Eloquent Silver Curve: The Jewelry of Flora Book
Flora Book has combined her passion for elegant jewelry with her love of silver and life-long study of textiles. Unlike many other Northwest jewelry artists who favor narrative content and use found objects, Book has focused almost exclusively on the expressive possibilities offered by meticulous strands of slender silver beads.
Throughout her career, she has focused on constructing refined compositions that evoke the traditional functions of jewelry but also drape and flow with the wearer’s movements. Book describes her work as an effort to transform the hard metal beads into something soft and flexible, like a piece of fabric. Through her techniques, Book realized her vision to create jewelry that both shimmers like water and drapes like fabric—most eloquently seen in a work such as Cascade, on view in this gallery.
For most of the last decade, Book’s work has evolved into other textile processes such as knitting and machine stitching. These works continue her exploration of the contrast between soft and hard while embracing an aesthetic that is more relaxed and expressive. Her use of reclaimed Mylar from potato chip bags or knitted silver chain allows the forms to be less rigid than her earlier works. Yet, even with these less structured forms, Book cultivates her signature elegant style through the eloquent silver curve.
30/07/2011 to 5/02/2012
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Ercole Moretti. Un secolo di perle veneziane
Ercole Moretti. A century of Venetian beads
A century of Venetian beads and precious handmade glass works by one of the most famous and ancient Murano Glass factories, the Ercoli Moretti & Bros, celebrating this year the one hundredth anniversary of activity. Among the works on display are the 'Rosetta' bead, famous all over the world, the Mosaic bead, the Millefiori and the well known Murrina, on display together with many other glass works, on the first floor of the Murano Glass Museum.
9/10/2011 – 6/01/2012
Museo del vetro di Murano, Venice, Italy
Perles de liberté - Bijoux afro-brésiliens
Pearls of freedom - Afro-Brazilian jewellery
Among the twenty exhibitions of Europalia Brazil that trace the fascinating history of Brazilian art, Grand Hornu Images offers a unique perspective on Afro-Brazilian jewels, both historic and contemporary. Created and worn by slaves as a sign of recognition and empowerment, or inspired by the gods of the home, Afro-Brazilian jewellery combines symbolic and emotional symbolism with a strong and flamboyant aesthetic. All the jewellery shown is from public and private collections.
23/10/2011 - 26/02/2012
Grand-Hornu Images, B-7301 Hornu, Belgiun
Glass Beads of Ghana
Southern Ghana is home to sub-Saharan Africa's most dynamic and enduring glass bead-making tradition. For over 400 years, Ghanaian bead artists have been producing powder-glass beads from recycled glass to meet local demands of fashion and customary practice. Glass Beads of Ghana, the first exhibition to look closely at this distinctive art form, is drawn largely from The Newark Museum's own extensive collection, one of the few such collections in the world.
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, USA
The power of masks and royal symbols - Beadwork jewellery from Cameroon.
For centuries, glass beads and cowries served as common means of payment in Africa. Embodying the owner's wealth, influence and international connections, objects embroidered with beads or precious glass bead jewellery were, however, a luxury reserved for only the high dignitaries. The exhibition displays objects from the Klaus Paysan collection, collected over 45 years.
13/11/09 – 07/02/10
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Germany
Multum in Parvo: A Collection of Engraved Gems
The first exhibition in Wartski's new premises situated at 60 St James’s Street in London will showcase a carefully curated collection of engraved gems assembled by the firm over several years. Entitled ‘Multum in Parvo’ (a Latin motto which translates as much in little), the exhibition will display over 80 intricate carvings in miniature, engraved into beautifully coloured and figured precious and semi-precious stones. Works of art by some of the most notable gem engravers of the 18th and 19th centuries will be represented, as well as examples dating from the Renaissance and Classical Antiquity.
1/10/2019 - 7/10/2019
Wartski, 60 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LE, UK
Preziose Antichità. Il Museo Profano al tempo di Pio VI
Precious Antiquities. The Profane Museum at the time of Pius VI
For the first time in over two hundred years, an exhibition will bring back to life in the Vatican the charm of the eighteenth-century collections of the Profane Museums at the time of Pius VI, before the Napoleonic requisitions. The original nucleus of the collections of profane antiquities in the future complex of the Vatican Museums, was created by Clement XIII (Rezzonico, 1758-1769) and enriched with further collections and furnishings under Pius VI (Braschi, 1775-1799). The conclusion of this demanding restoration project, which involved the entire collection and its context, is an opportunity to imagine a momentary "homecoming" of a nucleus of antique gems and cameos, mounted in elaborate Neoclassical settings at the end of the eighteenth century, and a valuable numismatic collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman exemplars. Involved in the dramatic wartime events of the Napoleonic period, these works were transported to France as a war indemnity following the assassination of General Mathurin-Léonard Duphot in Rome in 1798. These works are accompanied by the beautiful copper plate engravings illustrating the collection of the Profane Museum, produced in the eighteenth century and held at the National Institute of Graphic Design
2/10/2013 – 4/01/2014
Vatican Museums, Room of the Aldobrandini Wedding, Palazzo Sciarra, Via Marco Minghetti, 22 – 00187 Roma, Italy
Engraved Gems and the Classical Tradition
Although gems are modest in size, gem engraving was a major art in antiquity. From the Renaissance on, Greek and Roman intaglios and cameos were collected, observed and copied. Scholars could learn about the appearance of gem subjects through publications, often initiated by their almost obsessive collectors, but also through the expanding production of impressions and casts of gems in a variety of materials. This exhibition will give examples of a wide range of these, from sealing wax to glass paste. It will also show a number of original gems. Books on engraved gems of the 17th to 19th centuries from the Christ Church Library are illustrated with impressions, electrotypes and casts from Oxford’s Beazley Archive, and intaglios and cameos from private collections. The exhibition is curated by Dr Claudia Wagner, assisted by Dr Sanne Rishoj Christensen and Dr Cristina Neagu; with the collaboration of the Beazley Archive in Oxford’s Classical Art Research Centre and the Oxford Conservation Consortium.
16/01/2013 – 3/05/2013
Christ Church Upper Library, Christ Church, Oxford, OX1 1DP, UK
Precious and Beautiful. Cameos and intaglios of the Medici
Gem collecting was one of the most fascinating aspects of the rediscovery of antiquity which characterised the Renaissance. As of the first half of the XV century, cameos and intaglios were much sought after by popes, princes and cardinals, on several occasions indeed giving rise to harsh disputes between admirers who were even ready to spend large sums to secure themselves the desired piece. Presenting a select number of pieces of exceptional quality from the most important Italian and foreign museums, the exhibition will illustrate the complex history of this treasure, starting from its formation by Cosimo, Piero and, especially, Lorenzo de’ Medici who reserved a special place to cameos and intaglios in his art collections.
25/03/2010 – 27/06/2010
Museo degli Argenti, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy
Antique gems and pastes
A remarkable collection of gems and glass pastes which numbers about 2300 specimens that reproduce a variety of subjects. Most of these jewels belonged to Jacopo Verità, a noble of Verona, from whom the City bought the archaeological collection in 1842. The exhibition celebrates the publication of the first volume of the catalogue that illustrates, through a careful study, more than a thousand pieces (about half of the gem collection of the Art Museum).
20/01/2010 – 30/05/2010
Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano, Verona, Italy
The biggest cameos in the world
For more than a year, Andreas and Dieter Roth, experienced and reputable engravers with decades of experience, have worked on two cameos, the "Birth of Venus" and "Triumph of Galatea". From a 95-pound block the 6-pound plate was cut with a diameter of 50 centimeters. With 3 pounds and a size of 49 to 36 centimeters the "Venus" is the largest cameo in the world.
23/10/2009 - 31/03/2010
Museum Idar-Oberstein, Germany
Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems
Carved gemstones have captivated connoiseurs of every age, from antiquity to the modern period. The exhibition Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems brings together remarkable intaglios and cameos carved by ancient master engravers along with some of the outstanding works by modern carvers that they have inspired. The gems will be displayed together with material from later periods that evinces their importance through the ages--illuminated manuscripts, rare engravings from early catalogues, cabinets designed to house collections of gems, and other works of art in diverse media to illustrate the lasting allure of these masterpieces in miniature.
19/03/2009 - 7/09/2009
The Getty Villa, Malibu, Los Angeles CA, USA
The Gonzaga cameos. Precious works at the court at Mantua.
Pieces from the famous collection of the Gonzagas, originating in the 15th century and including many pieces purchased from the sale of Charles I's collection.
12/10/2008 – 11/01/2009
Museo Diocesano Francesco Gonzaga, Mantua, Italy
Everything about hair
Exhibition of everything connected to hair, including hair jewellery, hair pieces, hair curls, wigs and all the headdress has to offer. Hair has always been regarded as a sign of strength, virtue, seduction, power, and jewellery. From the existing collections of the Museum, 'hairy' relationships with various areas of life such as crafts and trade, business, cooking, cloakroom, bathroom and bedroom, children and education up to religious cults are highlighted.
18/05/2013 – 31/10/2013
Museo di cultura popolare/Museum für Alltagskultur, via Andreas Hofer, 50, Egna/Neumarkt, South Tyrol, Italy
Magnificent Views? Landscapes in Jewellery
Landscapes first had to be discovered as an autonomous theme – not only in the field of painting, but also for jewellery. Starting from symbolic hints in medieval depictions of saints to the idyllic backgrounds of antique scenes painted in the Baroque period, landscapes served merely as a backdrop for a long time. The 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, when landscapes rich in details gradually evolved as the themes of paintings such as vedute, also marked the heyday of exquisite miniature enamel paintings and ivory carvings on brooches, lockets, pocket watch cases and dials. As revealed by some examples of contemporary art jewellery, even a drab industrial landscape can pique an artist’s interest. In general, the featured motifs such as mountain ranges, plant life or architecture serve as metaphors for a certain place or mood. Reflected upon as an autonomous aesthetic experience, landscapes bring forth a new design vocabulary while at the same time testifying to the artists’ multifaceted ways of exploring the theme of nature and the environment in view of the changes they undergo in the industrial era.
22/07/2013 – 13/10/2013
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstrasse 42, D-75173, Pforzheim, Germany
A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke
Diminutive forms of ancient Roman, Greek, and Byzantine mosaics, “micromosaics” — a term coined in the 1970s by collector Sir Arthur Gilbert — are made using a painstaking technique that involves tesserae, small pieces of opaque enamel glass. The tiny mosaics were first developed with regularity in the second half of the 18th century by the Vatican Mosaic Workshop. By the 19th century, numerous independent studios devoted to the production of these small keepsakes were established to meet travellers’ demands and to capitalise on the increasing popularity of micromosaics as symbols of status, sophistication, and social polish. For an English traveller to Rome, Venice, or Milan, for example, a micromosaic of an Italian Renaissance painting or ancient architectural monument captured the journey and today reflects that era’s fascination with the classics and societal requisite travel to the “cradle of western civilization.” The works of art on view in this exhibition, which are predominantly stunning pieces of jewellery, are dazzling in their exquisite detail and craftsmanship. In addition to the tiny enamelled glass that forms the mosaic, eye-catching designs include gold, precious stones, and diamonds. VMFA is pleased to present this decorative arts exhibition and to share these fine works of art from the Elizabeth Locke Collection of Micromosaics.
29/01/2019 - 27/05/2019
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220-4007, USA
Ricordi in micromosaico. Vedute e paesaggi per i viaggiatori del Grand Tour
Micromosaic souvenirs. Views and landscapes of the Grand Tour
This exhibition, curated by Chiara Stefani, will show about 40 different types of objects (pictures, snuff boxes, plaques, jewellery), all made of micro-mosaics. Between the second half of the 18th and early 19th century, this technique, became an irreplaceable vector in the spread of the most famous views sought by foreign travelers along the route of the Grand Tour. The works on display, mostly unpublished, come from private Italian and foreign collections, from the Napoleonic Museum and the Vatican Museums, as well as documenting the spread of these particular views of the peninsula, reveal the enduring influence, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of the 17th-century landscape tradition of classical and romantic aspects. Views, first with ruins, and then with picturesque and romantic scenery, therfore became the subjects most frequently treated by Roman mosaics. Their flourishing production contributed to the transposition of views from the public domain to a private function.
16/12/2011 - 10/06/2012
Casa Museo Mario Praz, Rome, Italy
29/06/2012 - 16/09/2012
MAR - Museo d'Arte della Città di Ravenna, via di Roma, 13 Ravenna, Italy
East Meets West — Exquisite Treasures from the Aga Khan Collection
Since classical antiquity, the mutual fascination between the Orient and the Occident has repeatedly brought about new art forms. In the Art Deco period, for example, exotic ornamental designs and calligraphies from China, Japan or the Middle East lent themselves perfectly to fulfilling people’s desire for decorative and unusual luxury. Also, the 1920s were characterized by technological progress and rapid societal changes, both of which were reflected in the jewellery and the arts of that era in the shape of exuberantly exotic ornamentation and colours, wedded to clearcut shapes and austere materials. The vanity and cigarette cases, clocks and watches, plus the pieces of jewellery, from the Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection bear eloquent witness to this. The collection originated when, one Christmas, the Prince gave his wife a superbly ornamented case by Cartier as a gift. This was the beginning of what evolved into a comprehensive collection comprising creations by Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Boucheron, Lacloche Frères and the selfsame Cartier company, all of which evoke associations with glamorous dinner parties in exotically decorated apartments or smoky night clubs.
5/05/2018 - 6/01/2019
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstraße 42, 75173 Pforzheim, Germany
L'éventail, matières d'excellence
Paris, capital of fashion and elegant women, vibrates with the genious of its craftsmen. The fan, at the same time both a work of art and a fashion accessory, belongs to this tradition. In the boutiques of the Opera district, women marvel at the beauty of the paintings and are seduced by the elegance of pearl carvings, ivory or tortoiseshell. In their hands they hold the virtuosity of the craftsmen of the Oise. For the most part remaining in the shadows, the craftsmen of the Méru region contributed to the spread of French decorative arts. While best known for making the buttons and dominoes that made their reputation, history has neglected their talent for fans. Their ingenuity and expertise magnify rare and precious materials from distant countries, Africa, India and the Pacific islands. For nearly three centuries this was the main centre for tabletterie in France, Europe, and certainly the world. This new exhibition pays tribute to the expertise of these artisans. Nearly a hundred fans from the early eighteenth century to the present day highlight their mastery and creativity.
13/09/2015 - 17/04/2016
Le Musée de la Nacre et de la Tabletterie, 51, rue Roger Salengro - 60110 Méru, France
The Brüechli of the Innerrhoder women's costumes is a highly decorative item, smothered in silver jewellery. This specific part of the costume emerged at the beginning of the 19th century. when it took over the function of shoulder and neck-cloths. Looking back at the 200-year history of costume, one finds that in the 19th Century the individual costume pieces and thus the Brüechli developed with fashion. So until about 1865 Brüechli were of fashionable white linen or muslin , often supplemented with a pleated collar. Parallel to this were single colour silks, rarely patterned Brüechli with fine tucks and colourful inserts of strands and smocking. As the fashion colour black prevailed in 1880, women wore Brüechli costumes made of fine black silk taffeta and damask. At the same time the embroidery was embellished with fashionable beads, sequins and gold thread. The coloured and richly embroidered Brüechli which is still worn today originated in 1900 and has since changed little. This exhibition shows a rich variety of Brüechli. In addition, there are selected oil paintings, engravings, postcards and photos about Brüechli.
14/07/2012 – 31/08/2013
Appenzell Museum, Hauptgasse 4, CH-9050 Appenzell, Switzerland
From hair pin to shoe buckle. Gold and silver accessories
The focus of this exhibition is on silver and gold costume accessories, made in Europe from the 14th to the 20th century. Special attention is paid to the Southern Netherlands and the non-European influence on European fashion. There is a high range of accessories with a true function that will be on display: hairpins, hair combs en hatpins, jewels combined with a toothpick and earspoon or with a perfume bottle, all kinds of pairs of glasses and lorgnettes, accessories with closing functions like ring brooches, cape clasp and buttons, girdles, belt buckles, tie pins and sleeve links, accessories hold in the hand like rosaries with pomander, posy holders, fans, walking sticks and umbrellas, accessories put on the waist like chatelaines with watch, fork and knife in a case, pomanders, needle cases, skirt holder etc., purses and their contents, knee and shoe buckles.
22/03/2011 - 12/06/2011
Zilvermuseum Sterckshof, Antwerp, Netherlands
Inro – Gürtelschmuck aus Japan
Inro - Japanese Belt Ornaments. The Anna and Christian Trumpf Collection
Inrō are sets of small cases nested within one another, and were predominantly used to carry official seals and medicine. Inrō were attached to a sash by a toggle (netsuke). These cases first came into fashion in the 16th century and remained a striking accessory of Japanese men's fashion up until the end of the 1800s. Rich in symbolism and not uncommonly incorporating narrative elements, these objects allow for valuable insights into Japanese culture. Meticulously detailed and lovingly crafted, inro were mostly finished in lacquer. These elegant cases remain to this day beloved by collectors. This small-scale exhibition presents a selection of the Linden Museum's extensive inrō collection in the East Asia Department, and pairs these inrō with a large assortment of netsuke.
19/03/2016 - 29/01/2017
Linden-Museum Stuttgart, Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde, Hegelplatz 1, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Sequins - accessories - compacts. Fashion drawings and objects of the Twenties
The fashion of the 1920s is the focus of this special exhibition of the Costume Lipperheide library. The focus of the exhibition is on the one hand fashion drawings from Berlin, Paris and Vienna from the unique holdings of the Collection Fashion Image - Costume Lipperheide library. The second focus is the powder boxes and cosmetic accessories of a Berlin private collector presented for the first time. The approximately 200 exhibits in this collection illustrate the high quality, design and form of this rare variety of beauty items.
07/05/09 – 09/08/09
Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, Germany
Jeweled Splendors of the art deco era: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan collection
Installed in the Carnegie Mansion’s Teak Room, more than 100 extraordinary examples of cigarette and vanity cases, compacts, clocks, and other luxury objects from the premier jewellery houses of Europe and America.
7/04/2017 - 27/08/2017
Cooper Hewitt, 2 East 91st Street, New York, New York 10128. USA
Galante begleiter: vom metalltäschlein bis zur garnkugel
Accessories from the 19th century to the 1920s
21/6/08 – 24/8/08
Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim, Germany
Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft
Explore the history of magic over eight centuries in this immersive and thought-provoking exhibition. The intriguing objects on display show how our ancestors used magical thinking to cope with the unpredictable world around them. They range from the fantastical and macabre (a unicorn’s horn, a human heart encased in lead), the beautiful and mysterious (exquisitely engraved rings to bind a lover and medieval books of ritual magic), to the deeply moving confessions of women accused of witchcraft. The exhibition asks us to examine our own beliefs and rituals, and aims to show how, even in this sceptical age, we still use magical thinking and why we might need a bit of magic in our lives. To illuminate the links between past and present, specially commissioned works by contemporary artists provide dramatic responses to the themes of the show, conjuring demons, flames and the scuttling of malignant spirits.
31/08/2018 - 6/01/2019
Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2PH, UK
Magic in the Ancient World
Protective amulets, incantation bowls, curse tablets, powerful rings, magical stones, and anatomical votives — these objects and more, once used by ancient peoples seeking to fulfill desires through supernatural means, are featured in this exhibition. Deeply entwined with science and religion, magic was a real and everyday part of life for many ancient peoples around the world. Ancient magic addressed many of the dreams, hopes, and passions humans grapple with today: desire for health and wellbeing, protection from evil, even revenge. The exhibition, featuring 81 artifacts from the Penn Museum’s collections, explores some of the magical objects, words, and rituals used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome.
16/04/2016 - 4/09/2017
Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
The baculum (Os penis or Os priapi) is the penile bone possessed by all mammals except human beings. It is thought that the purpose of the baculum is connected to reproductive strategies and the preservation of species. The bone makes it possible for extended periods of mating. Even human-like chimpanzees have penile bones. The bone is a mythical object that holds magical significance. In Finno-Ugrian folkloric traditions, the penile bones of bears were worshipped. When a piece of jewellery is worn as an amulet on the body, it’s significance changes again. This exhibition shows pieces of jewellery made by Helena Lehtinen, Eija Mustonen, Karen Pontoppidan, Miro Sazdic, Nelli Tanner and Tarja Tuupanen presenting new significances for baculum by exploring general meanings or inventing totally new interpretations.
11/03/2012 - 1/06/2012
Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum, München, Germany
Felicity Powell - Charmed Life: The solace of objects
This exhibition is the result of the artist Felicity Powell’s engagement with a collection of 1400 amulets assembled by the Edwardian amateur folklorist Edward Lovett. One of the few people to have had access to this curious collection of ‘charms’, once carried in the pockets of Londoners for luck or protection, Powell was intrigued by the silent witness they bore to countless personal narratives. Amulets have appeared throughout history and across many cultures in an infinite variety of forms. Each has been invested with the hope or belief that it could somehow mediate on behalf of its owner. Reflecting on the potency – sometimes alluring, sometimes repellent – of these much-touched objects, Powell found parallels with her own artistic practice.
6/10/2011 – 26/02/2012
Wellcome Collection, London NW1 2BE, UK
Talismans are found in many cultures throughout the world. In this exhibition twelve contemporary New Zealand jewellery artists have made new work responding to the enduring power of the talisman. The inclusion of twelve rare and important historic talismans from Canterbury Museum's Oceanic collection highlights an exchange across times and cultures, and reinforces not only the connections between jewellery and the body, science, magic and nature, but also the idea that jewellery accrues meaning through use.
5/12/2009 - 14/02/2010
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch, New Zealand
Past and Present. Animal-themed amulets from Asia and Africa
An exhibition of jewellery, ornaments, amulets and talismans and everyday utensils from Africa and Asia on the theme of the symbolic animal.
15/05/09 – 15/11/09
Musée des Beaux-Arts Salies, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France
Jewels and ritual. Treasures from the Perusini collection.
27/6/2008 – 30/11/2008
Il Museo Etnografico del Friuli, Friuli, Italy
Bags and cases
Taschen und Schmuck - "Elegante Begleiter der Damen"
Bags and Jewellery - "The Elegant Companion for a Lady' "
Ornate works of cut-steel and glass beads.
Deutsches Fächer Museum, Barisch Stiftung (German Fan Museum), Am Bach 19, 33602 Bielefeld' Germany
Court and Craft. A Masterpiece from Northern Iraq
Discover the story behind one of the most extraordinary objects in The Courtauld's collection: a bag made in Northern Iraq around 1300. No other object of this kind is known. Inlaid with gold and silver and decorated with a courtly scene showing an enthroned couple as well as musicians, hunters and revellers, it ranks as one of the finest pieces of Islamic metalwork in existence. The bag was made for a lady in the courtly circles of the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty, established in west Asia by Genghis Khan’s grandson, Hulagu. This exhibition considers this luxury craft tradition before and after the Mongol invasion. This exhibition explores the origin and cultural context of this extraordinary object, alongside displays of illustrated manuscripts, ceramics and other luxury crafts.
20/02/2014 – 18/05/2014
The Courtauld Gallery, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN, UK
Taschen. Eine europäische Kulturgeschichte vom 16. bis 21. Jahrhundert
Bags. A European Cultural History from the 16th to the 21st century.
The Bavarian National Museum presents a special exhibition of about 300 bags from the 16th to 21st Century. The range includes early purses, hunting bags, hand bags, luggage and so-called Pompadour, to modern ladies' handbags that since the late 19th Century are an indispensable part of the female wardrobe. See different types of bags as well as paintings, sculptures and graphic works that convey the context of support and function. From money bags to Kelly bags the variety of shapes and materials of these multi-faceted yet functional accessories are brought before us - a European cultural history in your pocket.
11/04/2013 - 25/08/2013
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Prinzregentenstraße 3, 80538 München, Germany
Ultra Vanities. Bejewelled make-up boxes from the age of glamour
With early, minimal and elegant pieces from the 1920s shown alongside extravagantly adorned examples from the 1950s and later, Ultra Vanities provides a window on a glamorous world of luxury and elegance and reflects the social and design history of the times. Aside from being stunning objets d’art the boxes were miracles of miniature engineering featuring tiny components all contained in a very small space. The exhibition will be staged in the principal first floor rooms of Goldsmiths’ Hall which will be transformed, for the occasion, into an elegant Parisian salon of the 1930s and dressed with historic touches and references back to an age of glamour.
31/05/2013 – 20/07/2013
Goldsmiths' Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN, London
Shackles of Beauty. Bracelets Through the Ages
The bracelets on exhibit include ancient treasures, the work of 20th century artists (Adamson-Eric, Mari Rääk etc.), and pieces by contemporary jewellery artists.
19/11/2011 - 7/04/2012
Adamson-Eric Museum, Lühike jalg 3, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
Anziehend — von der Fibel zur Brosche
Fitting and Befitting — Fibulae and Brooches
The development of clothing entailed the question of how to fasten or artfully gather garments, something which evolved into a theme that challenged jewellery makers in various epochs. As garment fasteners, fibulae served both a practical and an ornamental purpose. Their triumphant advance began in the Bronze Age, when people learned how to artistically work metal. Serving both as fasteners and status symbols, fibulae remained indispensable accessories well into the High Middle Ages. Along with the advent of buttons, they evolved into brooches that »merely« satisfied people’s need for adorning themselves. In the Baroque period, a bodice or a man’s hat without a magnificent brooch would have been unthinkable. In modern times, brooches have attained a status as autonomous works of art. As »art to wear«, these sculptures worn on the body offer a multitude of options for artistic expression. Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum houses an exquisite collection of this jewellery type from all epochs and eras. A selection of 100 superlative specimens will be illustrating the wide spectrum of a theme that is far from having been exhausted.
20/11/2015 - 21/02/2016
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstraße 42, 75173 Pforzheim, Germany
This is a small exhibition about the clothing accessories that turn up most frequently in archaeologists’ finds: brooches known as fibulae. These brooches were used to fasten items of clothing, especially cloaks. Nearly four hundred fibulae are on view in the display cases. They were skilfully made and many are splendid objects. They tell us a great deal about life and fashion in antiquity and the Middle Ages.
28/01/2017 – 3/06/2018
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Rapenburg 28, 2311 EW Leiden, Netherlands
Brooching the Subject: One-of-a-Kind
This exhibition will include one-of-a-kind, wearable brooches from 22 artists. Each artist has a Southern connection, based on where they choose to live, work or teach. "Studio art jewelry is different from fine jewelry because the materials involved may include found objects, plastics, toys, wool, enamel, glass, semiprecious stones, paper,” said Katz, a former jewelry designer, and curator of the Center for Southern Craft and Design at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. “It’s not prized for the weight of the stones or the value of the metals. It’s prized for the sculptural or narrative quality, or just its beauty."
22/04/2010 - 15/07/2010
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Center for Southern Craft and Design, New Orleans, LA, USA
Gilding the Lily. Buttons and other Ornaments
Buttons are small, functional, everyday objects—yet their design and material may signify changes in fashion as well as testify to one's economic and social status. Making the small button the “hero” of an exhibition is a somewhat subversive act, seeking to grant it unusual attention. Collecting buttons is an act of passion, almost an obsession. The exhibition presents thousands of buttons from private collections as well as other tiny ornaments.
14/02/2017 - 10/06/2017
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Wing for Architecture and Design, Galleries 1 & 2 Herta and Paul Amir Building, 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd, POB 33288, Tel Aviv, Israel
Déboutonner la mode
This exhibition is the first opportunity to unveil a unique collection of over 3,000 buttons, accompanied by a selection of more than 100 male and female fashion costumes and accessories chosen from the most iconic designers such as Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Patrick Kelly. Acquired in 2012, this collection was awarded the status of a major work of heritage interest by the Advisory Committee for National Treasures. Dating from the 18th to the 20th century, these objects, small in size, are true works of art due to the quality of the materials and techniques used in their manufacture. This collection, assembled by Loïc Allio, is exemplary for its variety, richness and eclecticism. Among the exceptional pieces are a woman's portrait in the style of Fragonard, a trio of buttons inspired by La Fontaine's fables of the goldsmith Falize Lucien, a set of eight birds painted on porcelain by Camille Naudot and finally a series of 792 pieces by the sculptor Henri Hamm. The 'paruriers' Jean Clement and Francois Hugo and artists Jean Arp and Alberto Giacometti worked for the famous fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, like Maurice de Vlaminck with the fashion designer Paul Poiret. The fashion houses Dior, Balenciaga, Madame Grès, Givenchy, Balmain and Yves Saint Laurent, in turn, favoured the work of the jewellers Francis Winter and Roger Jean-Pierre. We also discover creations by Sonia Delaunay and Line Vautrin.
10/02/2015 - 19/07/2015
Musée des Arts décoratifs - Mode et textile, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Buttons, Artistic, historical and cultural phenomena
The historical centerpiece to the exhibition will be more than 1,500 precious pieces from the Loic Allio Collection, considered to be one of the finest in the world. The collection holds many unique surprises, from a rare 2,500 year old Chinese button to buttons worn by the nobility at Versailles and in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, as well as buttons worn by the revolutionaries who stormed the Bastille prison. It will also introduce the public to exciting new works by a number of contemporary artists who use buttons as their medium, including: Clare Graham, Lisa Kokin, Lauren Levy, Amalia Amaki and Penelope Leaver Green
4/06/2009 – 14/08/2010
Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris, France
Gürtelschließen aus dem Balkan, Asien und Nordafrika
Belt Buckles from the Balkans, Asia and North Africa
As with all articles of clothing, belts and their fastenings are governed by fashion. Not only do they keep skirts and trousers in the desired position and hold open garments closed but they can also express wealth, social status, and regional origin. Many belts and belt fasteners additionally serve as jewellery. A further aspect is much more difficult for the observer to interpret – their magical or symbolic meaning. This exhibition displays around 150 examples from 30 countries belonging to an extensive private collection. The exhibition pieces demonstrate an immense diversity of design elements such as elaborate ornamental patterns, landscape views, botanical motifs, and human forms. A wide spectrum of different techniques, design inceptions, motifs, and artistic details is represented.
17/05/2015 - 27/09/2015
Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau, Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst e. V., Altstädter Markt 6, 63450 Hanau, Germany
Crosses and other religious
Les Reliquaires de A à Z
Reliquaries from A to Z
A as in "Agnus Dei", B as in "Bras" (arms), C as in "Custos", D as in "Dent" (tooth), E as in "Épine" (thorn) ... The major themes related to Christian practices and belief are presented via 26 letters in the exhibition "Reliquaries from A to Z": a mystical alphabet assembled from the collections of the Mucem. In 2002, the Mucem acquired from a private individual a unique collection of some 500 reliquaries. This very rich set testifies brilliantly to the variety of forms, techniques and uses of reliquaries in the European Christian world, mainly over a period from the 17th century to the first third of the 20th century. The term "relic", from Latin reliquiae (literally "remains"), refers to the human remains of holy persons (often bone fragments) or objects that belonged to them or had been in contact with their bodies. In the Christian religion, if the relics were first placed within the altar of churches, the development of their cult is accompanied by the production of a wide variety of containers used to preserve and glorify them: reliquaries, monstrances, paintings, chests, statues, custos, rosaries, medallions, etc. In the 17th century, reliquaries also enter into domestic spaces to protect the home. They are then found on the threshold of houses, on chimneys, or even suspended above beds. Their trade intensifies, and with it, the will of the Church to frame the practice and to guarantee the origin of the relics. Certificates of authenticity, meticulous inventories, showcasing, a desire to present the "rest" in its best light ... Practices around relics are not dissimilar to the conservation and exhibition work carried out by museums.
10/04/2019 - 2/09/2019
Le Mucem, Fort Saint-Jean, 201 quai du Port, Marseille, France
In the Shade of the Cross. Western-European Crosses and Crucifixes of the 8th - 19th Centuries. From a private collection, Milan
23/09/2011 – 29/01/2012
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Erhobenen Hauptes — Kopfschmuck aus aller Welt
With their heads held high - headgear from all over the world
Headgear ranks among the insignia of self-elevation. Crafted from precious materials, usually of imposing size, and worn on the head, they convey the wearers’ status and position in the hierarchy of the society concerned. The exhibition will be show-casing a wide variety of headgear ranging from diadems and crowns, bonnets, hoods and hats to funeral wreaths and turbans, including their multifaceted variants in terms of shapes and colours. The exhibits will cover the whole gamut from specimens worn at court in the occidental world to folkloristic and ethnographic examples. Pforzheim’s Art Association will be staging a concurrent show on the same theme.
15/11/2014 – 8/02/2015
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstrasse 42, D-75173, Pforzheim, Germany
Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal
The single most potent symbol of Buddhist ritual as performed in Nepal is the Vajracarya priest's crown. Five examples presented in this exhibition will create a cosmic field into which viewers will enter, encircled by paintings of ritual performance. The exhibition is occasioned by the recent acquisition of a superb early Vajracarya crown dating to the 13th or early 14th century; this will be joined by an 18th-century crown already in the collection and two others recently discovered in the Department of Arms and Armor. Bronze and wooden ritual utensils, Nepalese cloth paintings, and archival photographs of ritual enactment will complete the exhibition.
16/12/2017 - 16/12/2018
The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA
Jewellery of power: crowns and tiaras
The aim of the exhibition is to be an excursus among crowns and tiaras of the past and present, focusing attention on what they are and what they have been. An authentic leap into the tastes and styles of different eras through the works of great artists. A world of creative interest, a testing ground for contemporary goldsmiths and designers. On display, precious items, symbols of political, social, economic and emotional power and, at the same time, a sign of the excellence of gold art, “works that are present and still extremely current in jewellery production, true icons of style in the past and even now.” The exhibition therefore blends different times and contexts, presenting crowns and tiaras from high jewellery to fashion, confirming and enhancing the Museo del Gioiello’s pluralistic and inclusive spirit.
22/09/2018 – 17/03/2019
Museo del Gioiello
Piazza dei Signori, 36100 Vicenza, Italy
In its 250th anniversary year, Fairfax House presents a spectacular exhibition which draws together a glittering display of tiaras, coronets and jewellery to celebrate the great beauty, visual splendour and important stories of Yorkshire’s historic jewels and treasures. Passed from generation to generation, these jewels chart the long-established families whose history is intertwined with this county, the events connected with them and the succession of individuals who have worn and cherished these heirlooms.
8/02/2013 – 23/06/2013
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York YO1 9RN, UK
Tiaras: queen of jewellery, jewellery of queens
The exhibition will include pieces from the Royal collection, as well as modern pieces from Georg Jensen, Ole Lynggaard of Copenhagen and Bodil Binner.
13/03/09 – 11/08/09
The Amalienborg Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Origins of the Afro Comb: 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity
The 6,000-year history of the Afro Comb, its extraordinary impact on cultures worldwide, and community stories relating to hair today are explored in this new exhibition. Material culture on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum includes hundreds of remarkable combs - from pre-dynastic Egypt to modern-day black fist combs referencing the Black Power Movement - as well as associated images and sculpture showing the wide variety of hair styles found in Africa and around the world. A digital interaction gallery features projections of personal stories about combs and African type hair and visitors are encouraged to share their own stories and photographs, which will become part of a new archive of material for future generations. At the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology experience three contemporary art installations that bring to life the ‘Cottage Salon’ in the home, The Barber Shop and The Hairdressing Salon; explaining black hair culture, styling and politics as we know it today.
2/07/2013 – 3/11/2013 (28/09/2013 at Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology)
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB, UK
Torques et compagnie
Since the 19th century, the chalk of Champagne has delivered a considerable number of objects buried in Iron Age necropolises, that have helped successive generations of archaeologists to forge shared references to build and rebuild the image of the Gauls. This exhibition hoghlights the most characteristic of Gallic jewels, the torc.
8/03/2018 - 16/09/2018
Musée du Pays Châtillonnais, 14 rue de la libération, 21400 Châtillon-sur-Seine, France
Hanging Around: Necklaces from the MAD Collection
For at least forty thousand years, in virtually all cultures, humans have worn objects of symbolic, decorative, and amuletic value around their necks. Ranging in length from chokers to rope necklaces that hang below the waist, and in form from simple pendants to elaborate sculptural collars and breastplates, necklaces are strategically positioned beneath the face to draw attention to themselves, enhancing the wearer's allure, power, or status and showcasing the maker's artistic skills. The unique works on display in this exhibition are from the Museum of Arts and Design's jewelry collection. Dating from the 1960s to the present, these artistic creations encompass conceptual approaches ranging from the decorative to the provocatively political. Some of the necklaces on view feature precious metals and rare gemstones, but others derive their impact from materials as unconventional as pig intestines, gun triggers, mustard seeds, LED lighting, black coral, butterfly wings, phone directories, mirrors and lenses. The fabrication techniques employed by the artists are as different as traditional goldsmithing and cutting-edge digital prototyping.
24/01/2012 - 21/05/2012
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY 10019, USA
Unspoken Messages: The Art of the Necklace
There are many messages contained in jewelry beyond the simple desire for self-ornamentation. One of the most common is to communicate wealth and social position. A necklace can do this through precious materials, elaborate design, or refined elegance. Concepts of cosmopolitanism and worldview, as well as cultural and religious beliefs, are often encoded into jewelry. This exhibition is designed to inspire a different approach to thinking about necklaces. It also allows the public an opportunity to experience, in a new context, objects from the MIA's permanent collection. Necklaces for this exhibition are chosen from many world cultures and made of various materials, including ivory, hair, gold, jade, shell, coral, glass, metal and marble.
6/06/2009 - 13/09/2009
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
250 years of the goldsmiths 'Bury' - handmade chains from a Hanau chain maker
In 1759, an Alsace-trained goldsmith, Jean Jacques Bury, founded a jeweller's business in Hanau. The business is still in the hands of the Bury family today. This exhibition, which was designed by the bureau Katz Emperor of Darmstadt, will show selected exhibits of differently designed chains, samples and documents, including numerous jewellery designs which give an impressive insight into the company's history and its long tradition in Hanau.
06/09/2009 – 15/11/2009
Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus, Hanau, Germany
Orders and decorations
Dame e Cavalieri. I Gioielli delle Onorificenze
Knights and Ladies. Jewels of Honour
Knightly insignia, decorations and medals that date back to the 11th century were originally honours bestowed purely on men who had distinguished themselves, a usage that was only extended to women in 1662. This exhibition celebrates and recalls the historic tradition of bestowing honours that has been handed down through the centuries and which is still very much alive on the Italian and global scene, in different forms and representations. It is arranged in two sections. The first will display about 40 honours and decorations of knightly orders selected from the most pre-eminent and rare collections around the world, and 10 significant items that pay homage to the Giovanni Giolitti collection, decorations given to the Italian statesman by the King and other European and international countries when he was the Italian Prime Minister. The second section dedicated to Ladies, includes ten or so items.
24/05/2017 – 17/09/2017
Il Museo del Gioiello, Basilica Palladiana, Piazza dei Signori, 36100 Vicenza, Italy
Celebrating Eighty: Art in the Hand
Art medals are a fresh challenging medium for artists, sculptures and medallists. They are not to be found on the chests of heroes or in athletes’ lockers, but are a contemporary expression of a much older tradition of medals as hand-sized works of art. This exhibition unites eighty contemporary art medals by students taking part in the British Art Medal Society’s 24th Student Medal Project. Each year over one hundred students from art colleges across the UK submit their finished works to be judged and selected for display.
23/03/2017 – 20/04/2017
The Goldsmiths’ Centre, 42 Britton Street, London EC1M 5AD, UK
Imperial orders. Diplomatic splendours of the Second Empire
All the decorations received by Napoleon III, the Prince Imperial and Empress Eugenie, miraculously saved from the burning of the Tuileries in 1871, are presented to the public for the first time in their entirety. Each piece tells a story, a friendship, a victory, an economic or political accord. The whole collection offers a unique journey into the world of the 19th century.
19/01/2011 – 29/05/2011
Musée national de la Légion d’honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, Paris, France
For honour and glory: jewellery from the Napoleonic era
2010 will see the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's visit to Antwerp with his second wife Marie-Louise. The Diamond Museum has taken advantage of this opportunity to mount an exhibition celebrating the splendour and ostentation of the jewellery and military decorations of the Napoleonic era.
30/09/2010 – 31/12/2010
Diamantmuseum Provincie Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium
Bagues d’hommes. Collection Yves Gastou
Yves Gastou is a key figure in the life of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, a neighborhood where he has lived and worked as a renowned antique dealer for over thirty years. He created this collection of more than a thousand rings from varied origins and ages with accumulation, frenzy, relentlessness and risk-taking over the course of thirty years. For all its originality and personality, the collection carries with it the history of collecting which dates back several centuries. With antique rings from ancient Egypt, rings belonging to 17th-century doges or American bikers from the 1970s, the ensemble is as much a collection of ancient times as a modern collection. At the crossroads of old cabinets and modern collections, Yves Gastou’s collection of men's rings is a testament to the fact that curiosity has lost none of its timeliness or appeal. Male jewellery always echoes a social, political, economic and artistic reality. Much more than an element of adornment, the masculine jewel also represents an instrument of power assertion, a tool of communication and a fashion accessory. The function of male jewellery is necessarily affected by societal evolutions as is the relationship between men and coquetry.
5/10/2018 - 30/11/2018
L'École des Arts Joailliers, 31, rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris, France
Treasures and Talismans. Rings from the Griffin Collection
Rings are one of the oldest and most familiar forms of bodily adornment. Worn by both women and men, they serve as declarations of status, markers of significant life events, expressions of identity, and protective talismans. They also have been a source of boundless invention for goldsmiths and their clients. The rings featured in this exhibition come from the Griffin Collection. While the collection includes finger rings from across the ages, our selection focuses specifically on objects made in the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance periods. Related works from the Metropolitan's collection highlight the connections between rings and other works of art, such as painting, metalwork, and manuscript illumination. Also discussed will be the connection of rings to religion, superstition, love, marriage, and identity.
1/05/2015 - 18/10/2015
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040, USA
Cycles of Life: Rings from the Benjamin Zucker Family Collection
This selling exhibition of over 40 exceptional museum-quality rings comes from the celebrated private collection of one of today’s world leading gem dealers, experts, and connoisseurs. Spanning from 3rd century A.D. through to the later part of the 19th century, the rings will be on public view together for the first time and for sale at Les Enluminures’ New York gallery from October 31 through December 6, 2014. Selected for their exceptional quality of stones, rarity, and level of artistry, the collection features many fine examples of the major types of rings created during the late Rome, Migration Era, Romanesque and Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Modern periods. All but a few exceptions have been on loan to the Walters Art Museum, MD, since 1985. Many boast sterling provenances dating back generations of Europe’s most prominent collecting families, including the de Clercqs, and the Rothschilds as well as from the celebrated jewelry collectors Dame Joan Evans, Ernest Guilhou, Ralph Harari, and Melvin Gutman.
31/10/2014 - 6/12/2014
Les Enluminures, 23 East 73rd Street, 7th Floor, Penthouse, New York, NY 10021, USA
The Rings from The Hashimoto Collection of The National Museum of Western Art
This exhibition commemorates the donation in 2012 of the Hashimoto Collection of more than 870 jewellery items, primarily rings, to the NMWA. This exhibition is the first public display of works from this collection. Hashimoto Kanshi (b. 1924) collected more than 760 rings across an extremely broad spectrum of eras and locales. This exhibition presents approximately 300 selected rings. We hope visitors to the exhibition will enjoy the richly individualistic nature of the Hashimoto Collection. This exhibition also allows visitors a chance to compare the miniature world of rings with the Museum’s collection of paintings and prints, indeed, it presents a fusion of the collection’s new and old aspects. We hope that this exhibition featuring the strengths of the NMWA collection will provide yet another means of understanding the fascination of Western culture.
8/07/2014 - 15/09/2014
The National Museum of Western Art, 7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Small Size, Great Aesthetics – a Hundred and One Rings
Albeit small, rings are true works of art in their own right, displaying a multitude of shapes and designs and serving disparate purposes: as wedding bands or friendship rings, as a sign of mourning or a symbol of power and status. Some are primarily decorative, while others also have a more profound significance. In certain bygone times, they had to be worn by decree; today, they are often determined by the prevailing fashion. Marking various important occasions in life, a person’s rings can span the stages of an entire lifetime. Worn in all epochs and eras, rings alone suffice to tell the history of jewellery. Rings of love, for example, have been known as a symbol of close ties and affection for three thousand years. In the days of classical antiquity, a ring combined with a key bit signified a wife’s authority to represent her husband in matters related to the conjugal household, and in the Renaissance period, love and togetherness were symbolized by rings featuring entwined hands. The exhibition will give an impressive overview of the huge diversity of these small-format works of art.
8/03/2013 – 9/06/2013
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstrasse 42, D-75173, Pforzheim, Germany
"Treu und bestendig". Ringe – ein Versprechen
Trust and confidence. Rings - a promise
Rings promise especially love, friendship and loyalty. Not least because of the construction of the Gmünd church of St John from the vow of the Duchess Agnes, wife of the first Hohenstaufen duke Frederick: she promised to build a church on the spot where she found her lost wedding ring. Given this background, the exhibition presents rings from antiquity to the present. The objects shown are from the collection of the museum as well as from a private collection and loans from the collection recently enriched by a donation. Ursula Röhrs has examined in depth the theme of rings and the collection of the Gmünd museum, and has produced an extensive catalogue, available from the museum.
29/04/2012 – 14/10/2012
Silberwarenmuseum Ott-Pausersche Fabrik, Milchgässle 10, 73525 Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
Johanna Dahm. Rings
The Swiss-born Johanna Dahm active since the 1970s, has continually pursued new ways of defining what jewellery can be. Her work is characterized by an investigative and open approach, which has led her everywhere from quests for the integration of fabric and brooch, exploring light reflections on the body, to researching exotic jewellery techniques. Her work has explored many key practical and conceptual themes in jewellery. Dahm’s work is of the highest standard, and her intellectual understanding of both technique and creative process is one which she is able to articulate eloquently.
9/07/2011 - 16/10/2011
Design museum Gent, Ghent, Belgium
Sammlung Abeler - Geschichte und Symbolik des Ringes aus vier Jahrtausenden
The Abeler Collection - The History and Symbolism of Rings over Four Millenia
The ring goes back to prehistoric times and is found in all cultures. With its various tasks and functions, as a mark of disctintion, a signet, a watch, bishop's ring, friendship ring, commemorative ring, jewellery ring or wedding ring, the ring has always had a special meaning. This exhibition displays 275 rings from the extensive Abeler Collection, which was originally started by the goldsmith and jewellery designer Karl Brauburger (of Hanau / Wuppertal) and then continued over many decades, by Jürgen and Gudrun Abeler in Wuppertal.
9/06/2011 – 21/09/2011
Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus, Hanau, Germany
Bedazzled : 5,000 Years of Jewelry
This exhibition will provide examples, both in depth and range, of stunning jewelry from 3000 B.C.E. through the early 20th century. It will feature some of the Walters Art Museum’s greatest masterpieces as well as many hidden treasures on view for the first time. This selection of more than 150 pieces will not only present the evolution of techniques and materials, but also demonstrate the importance of jewelry as an expression of creativity and often wealth and position. In addition, a special exhibition section will be devoted to rings, the only type of jewelry worn continuously through the ages. Assembled primarily by one of the Walters Art Museum’s founders, Henry Walters, during the first three decades of the last century, this renowned collection contains superb examples of expert craftsmanship.
19/10/2008 - 4/01/2009
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, USA
28/03/2010 - 25/07/2010
El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA), El Paso, Texas, USA
Roman to Renaissance: A private collection of rings
An exhibition devoted to a private collection of thirty-five rings dating from 300 to 1600 AD, from the Paris gallery LES ENLUMINURES. The collection comprises fine examples of rings from the Merovingian, Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance periods including marriage rings, seal rings, stirrup rings, tart mould rings, iconographic rings, merchant rings and gemstone rings.
12/5/2009 – 22/5/2009
Wartski, London, UK
Rings of Dieter Roth. Wearable art of a universal artist
The renowned Swiss painter, graphic artist, sculptor, object artist, typographer and poet Dieter Roth (1930 - 1998) developed since 1959 over a period of twenty years for the goldsmith Hans Langenbacher a series of finger rings. On display are all (approximately 50) rings and ring attachments, plus prints, sketches, designs, drawings and correspondence between Roth and Langenbacher.
29/10/2009 - 10/01/2010
Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne, Germany
Once upon a time, there was a ring... Jewels by Gabi Dziuba presented by Christian Philipp Müller
Gabi Dziuba, a German artist who lives and works in Munich, here presents a selection of original works in gold, silver and precious stones, half of which created in collaboration with some of the most important artists on the contemporary German art scene including Martin Kippenberger, Heimo Zobernig, Hans-Jörg Mayer and Günther Förg. While it is not possible to pin down an artist like Dziuba to a specific current or movement, it may be stated that she has often created jewels that pre-empt styles and fashions that have gone on to form part of both the street style and the haute couture of jewellery making. The jewels on show in their own glass cases interact with the installation created by the artist Christian Philipp Müller, who also created the graphics of the exhibition catalogue.
1/02/2009 – 26/04/2009
Galleria Civica, Modena, Italy
Herinner-ring /Remember-Ring is a collaboration of 90 jewellery designers from around the world who have each made a hand-crafted ring based on the theme of ‘remembering’. Each ring depicts a personal memory for the individual artist whose recollection is given shape within the limited dimensions of a ring. Herinner-ring /Remember-Ring is on loan from Galerie Beeld and Aambeeld in Holland and the National Craft Gallery is the first location to receive the exhibition outside the Netherlands before it tours internationally. The 90 participating artists in Herinner-ring /Remember-Ring include Irish jewellery designers Melissa Curry, Angela O’Kelly, Sonja Landweer, Rachel McKnight and Céline Traynor.
14/02/09 – 26/04/09
Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny, Ireland
Jewels of Time: Watches from the Proctor Collection
The aesthetic brilliance and exquisite craftsmanship of beautifully ornamented historical timepieces will featured in this exhibition. The exhibition will feature important examples of all the decorative techniques used in watchmaking. Gold and silver repoussé work, jewel-encrusted cases, and fine enamel paintings will be highlighted in Jewels of Time. The intricate scenes depicted on gold watchcases illustrate the height of European metalsmithing techniques. The exquisite enamel watches feature highly detailed miniature portraits and still lifes framed in pearls. Semi-precious stones were a favored ornamental element and examples in Jewels in Time range from diamond highlights on a bug-form watch to a jewel-encrusted watchcase and chatelaine. The collection also includes Renaissance-style watches with rock crystal cases, watches made for the Turkish and Chinese markets, and clever automatons with intricately moving figures. Novelty watches vary from an enameled mandolin to a tulip to a miniature silver skull with a watch enclosed within its jaw.
16/12/2017 - 29/04/2018
Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street, Utica, New York 13502, USA
Gold! Watches and Jewellery collected by Sophia Lopez Suasso
Sophia Adriana de Bruijn, daughter of a merchant in Amsterdam, married Lord Augustus Pieter Lopez Suasso, scion of a Portuguese Jewish family, on 7 April 1860. In addition to the watches and jewellery they bought on their frequent travels around Europe, the couple also acquired bronze sculpture, medals and coins, books and costumes. After Augustus died in 1877, Sophia continued to collect. She remained a regular customer of jeweller H. Martens on Amsterdam’s Rokin. Sophia had a weakness for fabulous watches in the most fantastic forms, such as animals, flowers, fruit and musical instruments. Each has a hidden switch to reveal the actual watch. Almost all the watches and jewellery are made of gold, decorated with diamonds, gems and enamel. The show features watches from Switzerland, snuff boxes from France and carved cameos from Italy.
24/07/2017 - 31/3/2018
Cromhout Huis, Herengracht 366-368, 1016 CH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mechanik en miniature — Armbanduhren der Luxusklasse
Miniaturised Mechanical Marvels — Luxury Wristwatches
Nowadays, wristwatches are being worn by women and men alike. Typically worn by women at first to express their status as emancipated working women, they also found their way to men’s wrists during the course of World War I. Always subject to changing fashions they became a genre of their own in the 1930s, when the number of wristwatches produced exceeded that of pocket watches. Starting in the 1960s, their appearance was revolutionized by the use of plastic, and cheap quartz movements further contributed to their degeneration into mass-produced commodities. The 1990s, however, witnessed the revival of mechanical luxury watches and their ascent to cult status, which they are still enjoying today. Brands like Glashütte, Patek Philippe or Longines have successfully been wedding mechanical precision to exclusivity. Such exquisite watches will be the focus of this exhibition, which will be ushering in the anniversary year of Pforzheim’s jewellery industry, whose history, after all, began with the production of watches.
25/11/2016 - 23/04/2017
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Jahnstraße 42, 75173 Pforzheim, Germany
The Time of Watches - Historic watches from private collections
Exhibition of historic watches, including many rare examples.
26/05/2012 - 25/11/2012
Mikkel Museum, A. Weizenbergi 28, Tallinn, Estonia
L'horlogerie à Genève. Magie des mêtiers, trésors d'or et d'émail
The collections of clocks and watches, enamel work, jewellery and miniatures of the Museum of Art and History form a body of 18'000 items, of which some 1'500 pieces are highlighted in this exhibition.
15/12/2011 – 29/04/2012
Musée Rath, Genève, Switzerland
Treasures of Vacheron Constantin - A legacy of watchmaking since 1755
This exhibition explores the heritage of Vacheron Constantin that spans more than 250 years and the brand’s cutting-edge technology, artistry as well as craftsmanship through a display of timepieces. These timepieces will express equilibrium of balance between technical prowess and aesthetic perfection, elaborate watch-making tools and specially produced audio-visual presentations. It is hoped that the watches displayed would be instructive in telling their part of the fascinating story of highly skilled artisans and their creations in the history of timekeeping.
24/06/11 - 26/08/11
National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
Montres et Merveilles; Watches and Wonders
A treasure trove of the heritage of Besançon, this exhibition presents 200 examples of mechanical watches that trace over time the evolution of this object from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century. "This is to put the watch in its technical and aesthetic context" says Thomas Charenton, curator of the exhibition.
9/12/2010 – 29/05/2011
Musée du Temps, Besançon, France
The development of Beyer and the watch industry
Times have changed radically since the Beyer dynasty was founded. And with it, the instruments used to measure it. The Watch and Clock Museum Beyer is holding a varied exhibition presenting a foray though 250 years of watch-making history.
15/04/2010 - 15/10/2010
Clock and Watch Museum Beyer, Zurich, Switzerland
Seals: Signs and Identity
This new temporary exhibition will run alongside the biennial display and be arranged into two sections: a historical-archaeological area with 20 wearable seals and seal-objects from the La Spezia Civic Museum seal collection, dating from the fourth millennium BC to the 1940s, and a creative-artistic one with 50 creations that include installations devised and created by Anna Fornari herself. The exhibition pays homage to the fascinating world of seals providing further information on the meaning of "signs" as representative of symbolic evolutions that have, over the millennia, shaped the structure of social relations. By combining Anna Fornari's jewellery with specimens from the Seal Museum's Capellini-Banfi collection, the exhibition binds and unites history, modern art and universal communication systems starting from learning about the birth of the seal matrix and its evolution as the maximum tool for affirming its owner's identity. The most ancient mechanisms of matrix and imprint, that game of empty and full relief work, light and dark, mirror and image, are re-processed in creations defined by the lack of a pre-established right and wrong side. It was this double value of identifying and identification that led to the idea of retrieving the meaning of the seal.
20/01/2017 – 7/05/2017
Museo del Gioiello, Piazza dei Signori, 36100 Vicenza, Italy
Fate, Hope & Charity
Tokens, small everyday objects, were left by mothers with their babies at the Foundling Hospital, which continues today as children’s charity Coram, between c.1741-1760. These tokens, which include coins, jewellery, buttons, poems, playing cards and a simple nut, were a means of identification should the mother ever return to reclaim her child. Hundreds of these small items were removed from the Foundling Hospital’s admission records in the 1860s, severing links with their history – until now. Now, over 250 years later, Fate, Hope & Charity reunites the tokens with the foundlings to whom they belonged, bringing to light untold stories that are testaments to the grief of separation and the timeless bond between a mother and child. Each heart-wrenching story offers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary women in the eighteenth century. The accounts reveal fascinating information about the tokens themselves, the circumstances surrounding the mother’s decision to give up her baby and the moving stories of the individual foundlings to whom the tokens belonged.
25/01/2013 – 19/05/2013
The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, UK
In Death Lamented: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry
This exhibition features rings, bracelets, brooches, and other pieces of mourning jewelry from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, ranging from early gold bands with death’s head iconography to jeweled brooches and intricately woven hairwork pieces of the Civil War era. These elegant and evocative objects are presented in the context of their history, use, and meaning, alongside related pieces of material culture.
28/09/2012 – 31/01/2013
Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215-3695, USA
Perfume & Seduction
Discover the finest examples of perfume bottles, gold boxes, porcelain objects, and other eighteenth-century luxury items that were used in the bathing and dressing ritual known as la toilette. This special exhibition will present examples of objects from Hillwood's collection that represent the finest luxury objects used in this elaborate ritual. A selection of objects from the private European collection of Givaudan, the Swiss manufacturer of flavours, fragrances, and cosmetics, founded in 1898 by the French brothers, Xavier and Léon Givaudan, will complement the Hillwood collection. Presented for the first time in the United States, the Givaudan collection of luxury objects for the service de toilette is one of the most important and complete in Europe.
16/02/2019 - 9/06/2019
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Perfume - Bottling Seduction
Exquisite flacons, sophisticated packaging, suggestive advertising spots – perfume, the scent of seduction, is presented using all these means. Consequently it is not just the perfumes themselves that are masters in manipulating our senses but also their various forms of packaging. Whether they are flowery and fruity, powdery or sweet, these scents beguile our senses. Every fragrance creates its own atmosphere that requires an appropriately designed container. Special containers for fragrant essences were already made in pre-Christian times. Many of today’s perfumes bear the name of a Parisian haute couture house and their packaging must therefore reflect the fashion style of the particular brand. This exhibition shows perfume bottles along with their respective ensemble of packaging, advertising and perfume. Starting with the first glass containers of antiquity it presents objects by famous designers as well as rarely shown creations right down to the present day, and recounts stories about the containers of these volatile essences.
2/12/2011 - 9/04/2012
Museum Bellerive, Zürich, Switzerland
The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia
This focus show features writing instruments produced in cosmopolitan centers such as Paris, Isfahan, and Kyoto. Every culture that values the art of writing has found ways to reflect the prestige and pleasure of writing through beautiful tools. Writing implements, such as pens, knives, and scissors, as well as storage chests, pen-cases, and writing desks, were often fashioned with precious materials: mother of pearl, gems, imported woods, gold and silver. Once owned by statesmen, calligraphers, wealthy merchants and women of fashion, these stunning objects highlight the ingenuity of the artists who created them and underline the centrality of the written word in the diverse cultures that produced them.
2/07/2011 – 25/09/2011
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA
Corals and bells: a collection of rattles
For the first time in Belgium, this exhibition presents a large private collection of rattles. The silver and gold rattles and jingling bells finished with precious materials such as rock-crystal, ivory and red coral are shown alongside charming miniatures and arresting children‘s portraits by painters like Théo Van Rysselberghe. To tie in with the exhibition, Sterckshof Silver Museum is producing a catalogue containing illustrations of the artworks and objects on show.
6/10/2009 – 10/01/2010
Sterckshof Silver Museum, Deurne, Antwerp, Belgium
Eye to Eye: Portrait Miniatures from the Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth
Toward the end of the 18th century, portraits of the single eye of a loved one became fashionable among the British nobility and aristocracy, a fashion that soon spread all over Europe. Given as a token of affection, these portraits were most often painted in watercolor on ivory and mounted in jewelry, appearing in the form of brooches, rings, lockets and bracelets. This exhibition, consisting of over 30 eye portraits drawn from the collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth, offers visitors a very rare opportunity to view this distinctive form of portraiture.
17/04/2010 – 11/07/2010
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, USA
Christmas tree ornaments from Jablonec
Exhibition of the silver and glass Christmas tree ornaments which were a speciality of the jewellery makers of Jablonec, Koniginhof and the Elbe River region in the 19th century. From the collection of Dr. Waltraud Neuwirth.
28/11/2009 - 28/02/2010
Museum Bautzen, Bautzen, Germany