Transformations, Contrasts, Juxtapositions

Can you think of a better thing to do on a gray February day than to catch a train to NYC for a beautiful jewelry exhibit at the  world-renowned Met? Not me.

Jewelry: The Body Transformed

Just one minor criticism: from my point of view, "transformation" represents a radical change.  Rather, I look at jewelry as an "augmentation".  It takes what you have and adds to your beauty. Diamonds light up your face; silver shines with gray hair; and pearls float softly on the skin.  But then "The Body Augmented" just doesn't sound good.

I LOVED the range of jewelry in this exhibit, from simple designs to the elaborate, from items made of plastic to the finest gold, and from the very old to the very new.  Pieces were suspended in tall, clear cases.  Dramatic lighting in a darkened area.  A feast for the eyes.

My takeaway?  Besides the exquisite pieces, the juxtaposition of old and new illustrates so well how history influences design. Take the example below.  The bracelet on the left dates from 1995 and the one on the right from 300 BC-200 AD.

Some other exhibited pieces:

Enamel necklace with opals and amethysts by Rene Jule Lalique, circa 1890

Cage necklace by Alexander Calder

Collar necklace with medallion of Dionysos, late 4th-3rd century BC (detail of medallion in photo below):

I didn't know there are karaoke groupies who follow the DJ's place to place, night after night.  Some performers come dressed to impress (a la Vegas), some have the dance moves down, and some are actually quite good.  (If

I closed my eyes, I'd have sworn Frank Sinatra was there.)

Transformations, contrasts, and juxtapositions.

Joyce Heaton
February, 2019

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