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216 pages. 193 color
9 × 10 in
A mode of self-expression that can be traced back to the earliest civilizations, jewelry can be as culturally revealing as it is stunningly beautiful. Artful Adornments: Jewelry from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, features more than one hundred works of jeweler’s art from one of the most comprehensive jewelry collections in the world. With nearly two hundred lavish color illustrations, the dazzling array ranges from an emerald and diamond brooch once owned by cereal-fortune heiress Merriweather Post, to a rock crystal and gold amulet found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen, to a twentieth-century kinetic necklace influenced by the mobiles of Alexander Calder. Magical Jewels, emblems of wealth and power, tokens of affection, adornment as dress, and jewelry as expressions of avant-garde art movements are all discussed, revealing how a jewel painted with chopped bits of a loved one’s hair can be just as precious—and no less decorative—than one encrusted with gemstones. Spanning five continents and nearly six millennia, this book introduces the reader to the variety and brilliance of the jeweler’s art from around the world and throughout the ages.
Yvonne J. Markowitz is the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her position is the first endowed curatorship dedicated to the study of jewelry in a U.S. museum. An expert on both ancient and modern jewelry, Markowitz has organized serveral art exhibitions and published extensively, including Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry, available from MFA Publications.