The Body Transformed

Edited by Melanie Holcomb; With contributions by Kim Benzel, Soyoung Lee, Diana Craig Patch, Joanne Pillsbury, and Beth Carver Wees

View Inside Price: $50.00

November 20, 2018
280 pages, 9 x 10
280 color illus.
ISBN: 9781588396501

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press

A cross-cultural examination of jewelry spanning 5,000 years that investigates not only the objects themselves but also the bodies they decorated

As an art form, jewelry is defined primarily through its connection to and interaction with the body—extending it, amplifying it, accentuating it, distorting it, concealing it, or transforming it. But how is the meaning of jewelry bound to the body that wears it?
Establishing six different modes of ornamenting the body—Deconstructed, Divine, Regal, Idealized, Alluring, and Resplendent—this artfully designed book illustrates how these various definitions of the body give meaning to the jewelry that adorns it. More than 200 examples of exceptional jewelry and ornaments, created across the globe from antiquity to the present, are shown alongside paintings and sculptures of bejeweled bodies to demonstrate the social, political, and aesthetic role of jewelry. From earflares of warrior heroes in Pre-Columbian Peru to designs by Yves Saint-Laurent, these precious and most intimate works of art provide insight not only about the wearer but also into the designers, artisans, and cultures that produced them.

Melanie Holcomb is curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; Kim Benzel is curator in charge in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; Soyoung Lee is curator in the Department of Asian Art; Diana Craig Patch is Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge in the Department of Egyptian Art; Joanne Pillsbury is Andrall E. Pearson Curator in the Department of Arts of Africa; and Beth Carver Wees is Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts in the American Wing, all at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

“The lushly illustrated exhibition catalogue includes some fine, informative essays by Met curators, among them Beth Carver Wees on the history of parures and John Guy on the relationship between representations of Hindu gods and the jewels that adorn them. . . .that the volume exists at all is worthy of praise.”—Paula Weideger, Introspective Magazine
Art of the Ancient Near East

Art of the Ancient Near East

Kim Benzel, Sarah Graff, Yelena Rakic, and Edith W.

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Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Beth Carver Wees with Medill Higgins Harvey

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Korea's Golden Kingdom

Soyoung Lee and Denise Patry Leidy; With contributions by J

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Design for Eternity

Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas

Joanne Pillsbury, Patricia Joan Sarro, James Doyle, and Jul

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Jerusalem, 1000-1400

Every People Under Heaven

Edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb

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