MFA Boston opens 'Past is Present' jewelry exhibit

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston this month opened its 'Past is Present: Revival Jewelry' exhibition, exploring over 4,000 years of jewelry history.


Designed by G. Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co., Renaissance revival neck ornament, 1900–04. Platinum, gold, enamel, diamond, ruby, emerald, cat’s eye, chrysoberyl, sapphire, and pearl. Gift of Susan B. Kaplan
 
Past is Present highlights jewelry history, design and inspiration. The new exhibition showcases 80 pieces of jewelry by Castellani, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Bulgari among others, all drawn largely from the museum collection and 17 loans from private collections.
 
The exhibit highlights four time periods -- archaeological, Renaissance, Egyptian and Classical -- and their influences on present day jewelry. Some pieces on view include loans from the Cartier collection, a Winged Scarab (740-660 BC) from the MFA’s collection, the Cameo Necklace of Elizabeth I from designer Charlotte Newman, a Castellani Brooch from about 1858, and the 'Peace Brooch' by Japanese jeweler Shinji Nakaba inspired by ancient Greek art.
 
“History fuels the creative imagination. The dazzling jewels in this exhibition were made by designers who found inspiration from the past—reviving and reinterpreting antique styles for a new age,” said Emily Stoehrer, Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry. “Today, as technology continues to advance and life’s pace continues to accelerate the traditions of the past, from ancient Egypt to the Renaissance, continue to provoke and inspire.”
 
'Past is Present: Revival Jewelry' is on view in the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery through August 19, 2018.  

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