MODERN ART MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF PARIS, PARIS
Medusa: Jewels and Taboos
Exhibition from 19 May to 5 November 2017
The Medusa exhibition took an unprecedented look at jewellery and revealed some of the taboos that surround it. Focusing on jewellery by artists, designers, anonymous artisans, or jewellery Maisons, from prehistoric times to today, the exhibition highlighted the diverse nature of jewellery by deconstructing the assumptions associated with it. As a decorative element that was deemed too feminine, too affected, or primitive, it has often been misunderstood. And although it is one of the most ancient forms of artistic expression, for a long time it was denied status as a work of art.
To illustrate the function of jewellery as a social marker and sign of identity or as a token associated with a historical event, the exhibition's curator, Anne Dressen, chose 8 pieces from the Cartier Collection, including the bib necklace from 1947 that belonged to the Duchess of Windsor, the Snake necklace, a special order by the actress María Félix in 1968, and the Cage brooch from 1944. The Maison also lent various archival documents including two drawings.