Meditations in Gold: South Asian Jewelry

Event Type Exhibitions
Date calendar  Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Time clock  (all day)
Location Ann K. Walch–Chan Decorative Arts Gallery
Meditations in Gold: South Asian Jewelry

5.16.24 - 2.2.25 | Ann K. Walch–Chan Decorative Arts Gallery

From prehistoric necklaces made of shells and bones to contemporary ornaments of gold and gemstones, jewelry is a universal form of adornment and one of the most accessible forms of art. Since the beginning it has had many functions; to represent cultural beliefs, to indicate status and wealth, to act as a fashion statement, to serve religious purposes, to symbolize relationships and rites of passage, to serve as a type of currency, and as heirlooms connecting families to their heritage, or in some cases to protect the wearer.

With its own mines yielding gold, diamonds, and many other precious and semiprecious stones India has been a vibrant center for wearable arts for centuries. Whether it is an opulent creation covering much of the body or a simple amulet worn around the neck on a cotton string, every detail holds important cultural connections. This exhibition will include jewelry worn for religious, ceremonial, and daily purposes and because every element of jewelry design in India is intentional, it will consider the importance of motifs from the natural and spiritual world. It will also explore why materials—like gold and pearls—are deeply symbolic and how they are utilized to create meaning beyond aesthetics.

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