Jewels and Gems in Boston
Brooch designed by John Paul Cooper (1869-1933), English, 1908. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; gift of Susan B. Kaplan.
Jewels and more jewels are to be found in the new Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which opens on July 19. Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern, the inaugural exhibition, includes approximately seventy-five examples, drawn primarily from the museum's own jewelry holdings with a few select loans, that together represent four millennia of personal adornment and the brilliance of the jeweler's art. They range from ancient Egyptian, early Kerma culture (modern Sudan), and Mayan pieces to contemporary studio jewelry, with the greatest number representing the most famous names in jewelry history-Lalique, Tiffany and Company, Van Cleef and Arpels, and the like. In addition to the beauty of the objects themselves, the show offers a consideration of the implications of jewelry beyond mere adornment-as magical amulets and expressions of wealth and power, for example. This is the first of what will be rotating long-term exhibitions of the museum's jewelry collection made possible by the new gallery.
Flag brooch manufactured by Black, Starr and Frost, New York, 1917. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; gift of Selina F. Little in memory of Nina Fletcher Little.
Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern · Museum of Fine Arts, Boston · July 19 to November 2012 · www.mfa.org