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Surface or Substance? Jewelry as Adornment and Power

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Empire Restaurant

Board of Officers Room, Park Avenue Armory

Park Avenue at 67th St

New York, NY 10065

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Surface or Substance? Jewelry as Adornment and Power

The human desire to embellish and ornament is timeless. Over the course of millennia it has been chronicled and critiqued, lauded and lambasted. Jewelry is perhaps the most obvious manifestation of this desire. But does our cross-cultural fascination with jewelry represent simply a superficial fancy for adorning ourselves, or can this impulse to ornament our bodies mean something more? This panel will address jewelry’s multiple functions across cultures and over time; its participants – hailing from various professions and cultural perspectives – will discuss jewelry’s deeper meanings: from symbols of political power and spiritual significance, to souvenirs of friendship and love – or even agents of provocation.

Panel: Navina Haidar, Curator, Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Freyja Hartzell, Assistant Professor, Bard Graduate Center; Jonathan Wahl, Jewelry Artist and Director, Jewelry Center, 92nd Street Y; Beth Wees, Curator, American Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Moderator: Ulysses Dietz, Curator, Decorative Arts, Newark Art Museum

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Empire Restaurant

Board of Officers Room, Park Avenue Armory

Park Avenue at 67th St

New York, NY 10065

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