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A major new jewelry exhibition is opening at The Met this fall

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

Get ready for some dazzling glamour this fall.

A major new exhibition opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 12 will examine the role of jewelry throughout history in cultures across the globe. “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” will display 230 objects, drawn almost exclusively from the Met’s collection, including headdresses, ear ornaments, brooches, belts, necklaces and rings. They’re serving up looks for days, honey.

The objects will be displayed thematically to draw comparisons across cultures and times. “The Divine Body” will highlight the link between jewelry and immortality with items like a head-to-toe jewelry ensemble from ancient Egypt (Yaaas, mummy!) as well as items from the Royal Cemetery of Ur. “The Regal Body” will examine how jewelry has allowed people to assert rank and status, and “The Transcendent Body” will focus on how jewelry is used to traverse the temporal and spiritual realms with mystical items on display like gold adornments used in Hindu worship and shell-and-feather items from Coastal New Guinea. Last of all, “The Alluring Body” will explore how jewelry is used in an attempt to cultivate desire.

The exhibition runs from November 12 through February 24, 2019 on the second floor of the Met’s main Fifth Avenue building on the Upper East Side. Check out some selections below. (Also, are toe caps the lewk of the summer?)

Sandals and toe stalls. New Kingdom. Dynasty 18, reign of Thutmose III (ca. 1479–1425 B.C.). Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, Wadi D, Tomb of the Three Foreign Wives of Thutmose III. Gold; sandals: L. 10 3/8 x W. 4 in. (L. 26.4 x W. 10 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1922 (26.8.148a, b; 26.8.185–189, .193–.194, .198–.199)
Jeweled bracelets, 500–700. Byzantium. Gold, silver, pearls, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, overall: 1 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (3.8 x 8.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670–1671)

Pair of gold earrings with Ganymede and the eagle, ca. 330–300 B.C. Greek. Gold, total H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.9, .10)

Collar, 12th–14th century. Peru. Chimú. Spondylus shell and black stone beads, cotton, H. 17 1/2 x W. 15 in. (44.5 x 38.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Nathan Cummings Gift, and Rogers Fund, 2003 (2003.169)

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