"Hanging Around: Necklaces from MAD's Collection" Exhibition

Museum of Arts & Design

poster for "Hanging Around: Necklaces from MAD's Collection" Exhibition

This event has ended.

For at least forty thousand years, in virtually all cultures, humans have worn objects of symbolic, decorative, and amuletic value around their necks. Ranging in length from chokers to rope necklaces that hang below the waist, and in form from simple pendants to elaborate sculptural collars and breastplates, necklaces are strategically positioned beneath the face to draw attention to themselves, enhancing the wearer's allure, power, or status and showcasing the maker's artistic skills.

The unique works on display in Hanging Around are from the Museum of Arts and Design's jewelry collection. Dating from the 1960s to the present, these artistic creations encompass conceptual approaches ranging from the decorative to the provocatively political. Some of the necklaces on view feature precious metals and rare gemstones, but others derive their impact from materials as unconventional as pig intestines, gun triggers, mustard seeds, LED lighting, black coral, butterfly wings, phone directories, mirrors and lenses. The fabrication techniques employed by the artists are as different as traditional goldsmithing and cutting-edge digital prototyping.

The Museum of Arts and Design's collection of contemporary jewelry is one of the finest in the world. Established in 1956 with important gifts from generous donors, MAD's jewelry collection continues to grow each year through the acquisition of new and exciting artworks that embody uniqueness in their aesthetic and intellectual ideas along with superior workmanship and the innovative use of materials in their execution.


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