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May 20: A Biography of a Brooch, or, A Tale of Two Pieces.

On May 20, Nunavut Arctic College & Jewellery and Metalwork Program presents a public lecture series on the History of Art and Jewellery! On September 9th, 2013, a 19th-century 18kt yellow gold brooch came up for auction in Toronto.

Its oval body was decorated with a simple filigree pattern embellished with gold granules, and its centre was set with faceted purple-toned garnets arranged to form a six-petalled flower. But what makes this brooch so interesting is that it is actually a combination of two distinct jewellery genres that were popular in Victorian England.

Its body reflects the style known as “archaeological revival” (from popular interest in contemporary archaeological excavations of ancient civilizations), yet its garnet floret speaks of “the language of flowers” (the term used for the 19th-century fashion of expressing sentiment through floral bouquets).

If this little brooch could talk, what stories would it have to tell about the society in which it was worn? Who was its first owner, and how did it end up for sale in an auction room in southern Ontario? This talk recreates the story that this piece of jewellery has to tell about the time and place of its creation through an exploration of its materials and design.

Don't miss this exciting presentation!

Dr. Donna Bilak received her PhD in 2013 from the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture in New York City. Currently, she is at the History of Science and Technology Postdoctoral Fellow for “The Making and Knowing Project” at Columbia University, Department of History.

Where and When:

Nunavut Research Institute, Building 959-A, Iqaluit
Tuesday May 19, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.




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