Jewelry: The Body Transformed

The Met

This exhibition explored how jewelry acts upon and activates the human body. It brought together over 230 objects from various cultures and time periods.

The exhibition design established a distinction between the universal act of adorning the body and the cultural values assigned to this artform. A central gallery displayed jewelry from distinct places and time periods in an abstract manner, focusing only on its relationship to the human body, from head to toes. The perimeter galleries allowed for a series of stories to unfold, describing how different cultural traditions assigned meaning to jewelry. 

In order to provide the context of a body part in a historically relevant manner, we decided to 3D scan objects from the Met's collection. We manipulated them digitally to achieve a desired level of abstraction and then carved them from the back of cases using digital fabrication techniques.


Melanie Holcomb, curator
Hannah Korn, curatorial assistant
Xiaoxi Chen Laurent, co-desginer
Mort Lebigre, graphic designer
Copyright © 2021 - Alejandro Stein