These jeweled bracelets, circa 500 to 700, Byzantium, feature gold, silver, pearls, amethyst, sapphire, glass and quartz, and will be part of the “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” exhibition starting this fall. (Photo credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
New York—A well-known New York museum will put jewelry front and center this fall.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is slated to open “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” at its Fifth Avenue location.

The exhibition will run from Nov. 12 to Feb. 24, 2019, and will explore how jewelry “acts upon and activates the body it adorns,” according to The Met.

It will feature some 230 objects created between 2600 B.C. and present day that come almost exclusively from the museum’s own collection, including headdresses, ear ornaments, brooches, belts, necklaces and rings, alongside sculptures, paintings, prints and photographs to enrich the stories.

The exhibition will open with an installation meant to emphasize “the universality of jewelry,” The Met said, with precious objects made for the body displayed in groups according to the body part they adorn.

The rest of the galleries will be organized thematically, in a way that is meant to encourage museum visitors to compare cultures.

The Divine Body, for example, will examine the longstanding link between jewelry and immortality. One interesting item in this portion of the exhibition is a rare head-to-toe ensemble from ancient Egypt designed to go with the elite into the afterlife.

The Divine Body also will feature items from the Royal Cemetery of Ur that were involved in a ritual of ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and the regalia of the rulers of Calima (now Colombia).

Other galleries will be “The Regal Body,” examining the use of jewelry throughout history to communicate rank and status; “The Transcendent Body,” focusing on how jewelry has been used to connect to the spiritual realm; “The Alluring Body,” delving into how jewelry incites desire; and “The Resplendent Body,” looking at how material and technique are used for ostentatious purposes.

The Met also said it will organize a series of education programs to complement the exhibition.

“Jewelry: The Body Transformed” is supported by Albion Art Co. Ltd.

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