The National Museum of Art of Romania

Metamorphoses. Cameos, gemstones and jewels from the collection of the NMAR

Mirrors Hall of the former Royal Palace
29 June to 28 October 2018
National Museum of Art of Romania
Curator: Carmen Tănăsoiu
Tickets: 10 lei
Free: every first Wednesday of the month

 

Small objects-great stories

Platinum, gold and silver, diamonds, rubies, gemstones and pearls travelled across centuries undergoing various metamorphoses. Yet artistry and craftsmanship helped build one consistent story about how fashion and symbolic meaning shaped the art of (self) representation in minute detail.

The exhibition explores the fabric of this narrative, made of about one hundred pieces of jewelry from one of the museum’s lesser-known collections, most of them shown for the very first time. Rings, seals but also ear-rings and bracelets reveal a fascinatingly rich story of collecting and investment throughout the ages. The selection spans almost two millennia, from Antiquity to the early decades of the 20th century, with gloriously scintillating and glittering effects that sound familiar bells right through the present-day. Fashion aficionados will easily recognize the similarities in appropriating precious metals, stones and rocks as well as the imagery of fine intaglios and gemstones to turn them into sumptuous, powerful, status symbols.

From the antique ring datable to the time of Roman emperor Titus Vespasianus Augustus (79-81 CE), featuring Victory to five Renaissance rings from the 15th-16th century to a tie/scarf pin from the 1930s objects in the exhibition bear witness to the metamorphoses metals, gems and rocks underwent and to the role they played in generating strong if sometime delicate-looking statements about the symbolic and monetary value of perception and representation.

To reinforce this message and the beauty of the objects the exhibition Metamorphoses. Cameos, gemstones and jewels from the collection of the National Museum of Art of Romania is presented in the Mirrors Hall of the former Royal Palace, whose sumptuous decoration echoes a similar message.

 

Mirrors Hall of the former Royal Palace
29 June to 28 October 2018
National Museum of Art of Romania
Curator: Carmen Tănăsoiu
Tickets: 10 lei
Free: every first Wednesday of the month