You don't mean a thing if you ain't got no bling: considering a place for the material culture of jewellery in the museum space

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Fashion displayed in the space of the museum is considered to be in its third phase of curatorial development (Melchior Svensson 2014) The discussion has led to some interesting debates about roles both of objects and curators and their on and off stage relationships (Breward 2007). My paper examines the space and place given to jewellery within these considerations. Much of the extensive jewellery collection of the VA museum is still presented as a ?jewellery box of delights? (Bevan 2012) ? detached from the body ? lacking in all but the visual sensory experience. As with early displays of fashion or dress, the jewellery display is often based on a chronology and is positioned on the merits of aesthetics. There is little relationship developed to the material culture of these object and the very production and consumption of these items ? the details of the previous owner who may have commissioned the piece and also the donator - are all kept to a minimum. As a way to develop a ?new museology? for jewellery I would like to consider a way to bring life back to these objects ?contextualized within the senses of the body ? individual symbolic and emotional relationships to these cold objects warmed by our flesh. The impact of digital developments in the gallery space and the increasing move towards embedded technology allows for a more embodied materiality of experience of both our understanding of jewellery and its display (Gell, 1992,1998). I have already conducted research into the relationship between people and their jewellery ? carried out interviews with maker and designers of jewelley.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational conference Fashion Tales 2015, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy.
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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