News & Events

The Brooklyn Museum

Unveils Solid Gold, an Expansive Exhibition exploring Gold through Six Thousand Years of History

Gold, both as a medium and a color, has held profound significance throughout human history, symbolizing beauty, honor, joy, ritual, spirituality, success, and wealth. It has been transformed into countless forms, from millennia-old depictions and Italian altarpieces to Japanese screens, haute couture fashions, unique jewelry, and contemporary sculptures.

To celebrate its 200th anniversary, the Brooklyn Museum, sponsored by Bank of America, will present the immersive exhibition “Solid Gold,” exploring gold in its many forms. Visitors will delve into the origins, artistic techniques, and expert craftsmanship of goldsmithing and understand the lasting impact of gold across six thousand years of human history. The exhibition runs from November 15, 2024, through July 6, 2025, curated by Matthew Yokobosky, with Catherine Futter and Lisa Small.

“Solid Gold” will transport visitors through the multifaceted worlds of gold, its rich histories, and its luminous expressions across cultures, past and present. Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, emphasizes the exhibition’s aim to bridge art and people, offering inspiration and new realms of beauty.

José Tavarez, president of Bank of America New York City, highlights the bank’s long-standing relationship with the Brooklyn Museum, celebrating New York City’s arts and culture, conserving significant works, and engaging the Brooklyn community.

Organized into eight sections, “Solid Gold” presents historical works alongside contemporary objects and fashions, sparking dynamic conversations across time and space. Highlights include a large wooden sarcophagus from Dynasty 22 (945–740 BCE), displayed for the first time in over a century, and a “hoard” of 181 gold pieces from the Hellenistic period, along with ancient jewelry, helmets, and chainmail from Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the pre-Hispanic Americas.

Contemporary objects echo ancient Egypt, including a fly necklace prototype made for Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra” (1963), couture gowns from The Blonds’ “Egypt Meets Disco” collection (2016), and Christian Dior gowns by John Galliano (2004) blending Egyptian history with Dior’s “H-Line” from 1954. Modern applications include a dress by Azzedine Alaïa for Tina Turner (1989) and displays of gold chains popular in hip-hop culture.

The exhibition examines golden smiles seen in ancient Panama, continuing into contemporary culture as grillz. Dialogues between ancient and contemporary objects emphasize gold’s significance from aesthetic and anthropological perspectives.

A section explores gold’s origins, unearthed from Nubia, South Africa, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond, telling a global story of ecological transformation and environmental impact. Artworks, such as William Kentridge’s film “Mine” (1991), explore gold mining’s process and impact. Another display centers on gold as currency, featuring coins from the American Numismatic Society and examining minting processes and the dissemination of images of important figures.

Gold’s immunity to corrosion makes it eternal. When melted and reformed, it appears “new again,” as shown throughout the exhibition. “Path to Nine” (2024) by Zadik Zadikian contrasts gold’s invisible history with plastic’s unerasable pasts.

One gallery examines techniques used by artisans, craftsmen, fashion designers, and others working with gold. Gold experienced a “democratic surge” in the sixth century BCE with coinage in ancient Lydia, making it accessible beyond royalty and rituals. Twentieth-century innovations like laminated Lurex thread and plasticized sequins added affordable sparkle to fabrics, though genuine gold remained coveted for its value and aesthetic use in fine art and fashion. Highlights include Dior’s “Aladin” ensemble (1962), works by Yves Klein and Howard Ben Tré, and jewelry by Suzanne Belperron, Alexander Calder, Charles Loloma, Art Smith, and Elsa Schiaparelli.

The exhibition includes 1920s and ’30s gold fashions and artworks, such as Jean Dupas’s 1934 gold- and silver-leaf panel and the Lunar Moth baby grand piano by Edward Steichen. The 1970s are celebrated with designs by Halston, Norman Norell, and Yves Saint Laurent, and film clips from “A Chorus Line” and “The Wiz.” The 1980s and ’90s showcase couture works by Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy, and Gianfranco Ferré, with recent designs by Garth Pugh and Demna of Balenciaga.

The final section celebrates gold as a symbol of achievement, featuring a Greek gold laurel wreath, modern crowns, and awards like gold medals, records, and Oscars. Highlights include Fulco di Verdura’s tiara, Paul Jabara’s “Last Dance” awards, and Rashaad Newsome’s “KNOT” (2014). Visitors will also experience teamLab’s immersive digital installation of animated gold waves, symbolizing gold’s eternal nature.

Related posts
LivingNews & Events

Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department

Hosts ‘Bodhi Yatra’ Conclave to Celebrate Lord Buddha’s Journey Bringing…
Read more
LivingNews & Events

New York-based Indian-American filmmaker Tirlok Malik and GOPIO Manhattan Celebrate International Yoga Day 2024

New York (June, 2024): On the occasion of International Yoga Day 2024, GOPIO, and Emmy-nominated…
Read more
AnnouncementEntertainmentNews & Events

Instituto Cervantes to Celebrate Iconic Spanish Film Directors with a Film Festival at the India International Centre

Instituto Cervantes is excited to unveil an exceptional film festival at the India International…
Read more
Join the Family
Sign up for Davenport’s Daily Digest and get the best of Davenport, tailored for you.