Jeweled Objects of Desire: From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Exhibition Website

Feb 3 2018 - May 6 2018

This exhibit features rarely seen items from the vaults of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. Each of the pieces in this exhibit demonstrates the skill and ingenuity of various artists in transforming simple materials into striking treasures. Originally curated by Cynthia Duval, who was then Chief Curator of the Florida International Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, this exhibit creates a sense of awe at the vision required to take the rough to polished, the mundane to exceptional, and the simple to complex.

Whether it is a faceted quartz crystal egg, a gold sardine can, a gem-encrusted ivory camel, or a jeweled mailbox, each of these creations irresistibly attracts our attention and appeals to our imagination, encouraging us to think about why and how each piece was made. Let these rarely seen objects inspire you as you explore this exhibit.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website 

  • Decorative Arts
  • American
  • Jewelry
  • Sidney Mobell
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates