Past is Present: Revival Jewelry

  • through August 19, 2018
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Whether copying or choosing motifs to reinterpret, jewelers have always looked to the past for inspiration. The practice became popular in the 19th century, as designers like Castellani, Giacinto Melillo and Eugene Fontenay began reviving examples of ancient ornaments, newly unearthed in archeological excavations, examine more than 4,000 years of jewelry history through about 70 objects—both ancient and revival—tracing the revival movement from the 19th to the 21st centuries. The exhibition focuses on four types: archeological, Classical, Egyptian and Renaissance. Highlights include a 1924 brooch, on loan from gold brooch by Cartier, paired with an Egyptian winged scarab (740–660 BCE) with a similar design; an 1850s embellished gold brooch by Castellani; and a Renaissance revival neck ornament designed for Tiffany & Co.
 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Egyptian Revival Necklace, about 1913. Gold, lapis lazuli, amber and turquoise.
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