Classic and Symbolic
Rings and Earrings from the Antiquity to the Middle Ages
from the collection of Museum of Applied Art
Guided tours every Friday at 18:00
Ceremonial Opening: DAY OF THE MUSEUM, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 19:00
Author of the Exhibition and the Catalogue: Mila Gajić, senior curator
Conservation: Milan Andrić
Graphic Design: Dušan Tkačenko
Exhibition Architect: Miroslava Petrović Balubdžić
Exhibition Music: Vasil Hadžimanov
The representative study exhibition of the Museum of Applied Art Classic and Symbolic – Rings and Earrings from the Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the result of a broader exploration of connections and interpretations of ancient heritage in Serbian medieval jewellery. Seeking to present to the local audience an exhibition on the history of jewellery for the first time in several decades, we have focused our research on those materials from the Museum’s collection that belong to the defined period and thematic framework. The most popular and most common forms of jewellery are presented at the exhibition – rings and earrings, from the Museum’s Collection of Metal and Jewellery (95 objects), as well as precious items from the holdings of the Historical Museum of Serbia (10 objects).
The purpose of the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue study is to highlight the origins and the development of classic forms of rings and earrings, the multi-layered world of their symbols and roles, the similarity of themes and new interpretations of antique motifs and ideas in Serbian medieval jewellery. Accordingly, we have perceived the objects from different historical periods as a unified phenomenon, within which it is possible to clearly identify the original horizons of old Serbian goldsmithery.
Jewellery lovers now have a unique opportunity to see in one place famous and unknown masterpieces, such as the golden ring that belongs to the Cretan-Mycenaean culture and dates from ca. 1400 BC, two-thousand-year-old Roman intaglios, a Byzantine seal ring dating from the sixth to seventh century, 14th – 15th century rings worn by knights and archers, silver medieval rings from Novo Brdo with embedded antique intaglios, Classical Greek lunulate earrings from the fourth century BC, as well as Roman, early Slavic and medieval earrings.
The items presented to the public at this exhibition illustrate a specific segment of the local cultural heritage that serves as the evidence of the centuries-long tradition of making and wearing jewellery in this part of the world, the interweaving of various artistic influences and their authentic fusion under the Serbian medieval state, when the classic organically lived in contemporary outputs, and the symbolic was a way of thinking and living.