Showcasing more than 150 pieces of Indian jewelry, dating from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, this exhibition celebrates the dazzling beauty and awe-inspiring technical craftsmanship of Indian jewelry.
When Gold Blossoms: Indian Jewelry from the Susan L. Beningson Collection celebrates the dazzling beauty and awe-inspiring technical craftsmanship of Indian jewelry. Susan L. Beningson’s collection of Indian jewelry, one of the finest in the world, was featured in The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India, an exhibition organized by the AFA and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in 2002. The current exhibition focuses on both the ornamental and symbolic qualities of Indian jewelry, exploring the role of jewelry in communicating the social and religious identity of the wearer.
The exhibition showcases more than 150 pieces of Indian jewelry, dating from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, selected from the Susan L. Beningson Collection by Guest Curator Molly Emma Aitken. When Gold Blossoms includes spectacular rings, anklets, earrings, hair pendants, jeweled crowns, ivory combs, and an elaborate swing and a gold throne for a deity. As the title of the show suggests, many of the jewelry pieces reproduce the form of berries, seeds, buds, or flowers, and most are made of gold—the preferred material for South Indian jewelry.
A 142-page, fully illustrated catalogue published by the Asia Society and Philip Wilson Publishers accompanies the exhibition and includes an essay by Guest Curator Molly Emma Aitken.
Molly Emma Aitken is an independent scholar and curator.
The exhibition is organized by the Asia Society and Museum, New York. The national tour of the exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts.
The national tour of this exhibition is made possible, in part, by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, with additional support from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation Fund for Collection-Based Exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts.