Past Is Present: Revival Jewelry at MFA

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Exploring more than 4,000 years of jewelry history, a new exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), traces the long-standing tradition of drawing design inspiration from the past—whether by directly copying earlier styles or reinterpreting ancient motifs. Past Is Present: Revival Jewelry includes 80 objects by jewelers such as Castellani, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Bulgari, ranging from antiquity to today and showing that the revivalist narrative did not end in the early 20th century. In nearly every instance, the design of the ornament highlights the tension between progress and the desire to engage with the past, in both traditional and unexpected ways. Drawn largely from the Museum’s collection and featuring 17 stunning loans from private collections, Past Is Present: Revival Jewelry opens on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2017 and is on view through August 19, 2018 in the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery.