Henry B. Plant Museum Explores “The Language of Jewelry” in New Exhibition

By Erika Winters

Jewelry history enthusiasts can explore the adorning arts in a new exhibition, “The Language of Jewelry,” at the Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa, Florida. The show, which opened last Friday, examines both the personal and social context of jewelry symbolism with pieces from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.

The exhibit includes carefully curated rings, watches, brooches, necklaces, and bracelets from the museum’s permanent collections in addition to items from private collections.

From the Henry B. Plant Museum website:

We invite you to discover the difference between gems and gemstones, the romantic meaning of serpents and other elements from nature, the intimate art of writing romantic messages with stones, the rise of the diamond as the most valuable gem and the myriad symbolic nuances crafted into each object. Find out how the California Gold Rush, discovery of the Comstock Lode, and the Queen of England affected the jewelry industry.

The museum will also be hosting a “Language of Jewelry” lecture on March 22, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in the Music Room of Plant Hall. Guest panelists will discuss how jewelry reflected social status and trends, cultural changes, and industrial developments between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.

The exhibit runs through October 8, 2013. Visit the Henry B. Plant Museum for more information.

Victorian-era brooch from 'The Language of Jewelry' Exhibition

A Victorian-era brooch from Barbara Smith Estate & Fine Jewelry is on display at “The Language of Jewelry” exhibition at the Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa.

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