“Jewelry: The Body Transformed” Tracks Adornment History at the Metropolitan Museum

Written by | Art & Design

broad collar

Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Beads and baubles, talismans and trinkets, shimmer and shine: since the dawn of man, we’ve been finding inventive ways to adorn ourselves. Now with Jewelry: The Body Transformed, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is inviting us to journey through time and space to ask why we wear it, what meanings it imparts, and how it activates the bodies that it’s on. The exhibition draws together 230 objects, including headdresses and ear ornaments, brooches and belts, necklaces, rings and more. They’ll be displayed along with sculptures, paintings, prints and photographs meant to amplify the transformational power of such accessories. The exhibition’s catalogue sorts its contents into categories including deconstructed, divine, regal, idealized, alluring and resplendent. It highlights how jewelry has signified identity — from the earflares of warrior heroes in Pre-Colombian Peru to bowknot earrings designed by Yves Saint-Laurent — spanning 5000 years of human history. Jewelry: The Body Transformed is slated to be on display through February; but go early, and it may just inspire some ideas for your gift wish list. metmuseum.org

Last modified: November 19, 2018