Sacred Adornment: Jewelry as Belief in Ancient Egypt
Online (On view through November 1, 2020, upon reopening)
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
The ancient Egyptians created stunning jewelry in a wide variety of materials, from metals such as gold and copper to glass and semi-precious gemstones. This new exhibition at Glencairn Museum features pieces from the Museum vault that invite visitors to explore how both the living and the dead of this ancient culture used jewelry to adorn, to protect, and to express devotion to the divine.
Jennifer Houser Wegner, Ph.D., who is an associate curator in the Egyptian Section at the Penn Museum, guest-curated this exhibition. She brings to this project a passion for Egyptology and an enthusiasm for the research required to understand the objects, which were purchased rather than coming directly from archaeological excavations.
“Not only is it beautifully made, but it is also incredibly personal. Almost all of us today wear a meaningful piece of jewelry—a wedding band, engagement ring, religious pendant, your mother’s pearl earrings. If we think about what those prized pieces mean to us, it is not so hard to imagine the special meanings, whether symbolic or personal, that the ancient Egyptians held about their jewelry.”
*Note that institutions may be temporarily closed to lessen the impact of COVID-19.
Image: Necklace with Duamutef amulet courtesy Glencairn Museum