Carnegie Museum of Natural History presents Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…The mystery and infinite possibilities of outer space have gripped the imagination and shaped our culture, especially in the latter part of the twentieth century. From June 27, 2015 to January 4, 2016, Carnegie Museum of Natural History captures the essence of the final frontier with Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age, a fine jewelry exhibition that brings together scientific fact and pop culture in a showcase of wearable and decorative arts related to outer space, space travel, the space age, and the powerful influence these topics have had on human civilization.
Beginning with jewelry and artifacts memorializing the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, Out of this World! travels forward through time to explore nearly 200 objects from landmark moments in space-related history. Pieces include ephemera, jewelry, and objets d’art inspired by events that captured our imagination, such as the 1865 publication of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, the 1957 Sputnik launch that kicked off the space race of the Cold War, and milestone NASA missions.
Out of this World! also reflects upon the futuristic artworks inspired by space themes that reach beyond the current age. Some objects make decorative use of materials originally developed for the space program, while others take their inspiration from such cultural phenomena as the Star Wars saga. The exhibition is on view in the Wertz Gallery: Gems & Jewelry, part of Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. A few highlights of the exhibition include:
• Lunar Excursion Module by Cartier Paris, an 18K gold model of the Apollo 11 lunar module made to commemorate the first moon landing in 1969—and only one of three in existence.
• The Tampa Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, featuring a rocket and a trail of diamonds, inspired by Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon.
• Planetoid Valleys by Björn Weckström, modeled after the silver necklace worn by Princess Leia (actress Carrie Fisher) in the movie Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.
• Dynasty Ring by Mark Schneider, designed to look like the machine that Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Ann Arroway (actress Jodie Foster) uses to make contact with alien life at the climax of the movie Contact.
• Jewelry created from materials created or used during the space race, such as polymer, titanium, and fiber optic glass—and jewelry made with materials from space, including meteorites.
• Custom-made jewelry by local Pittsburgh artist Paul Michael Bierker inspired by sci-fi television shows and films such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Firefly.
Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age was originated by the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts, LLC, with Elyse Zorn Karlin as consulting curator, and Eric J. Hoffman as the space consultant. Support for the exhibition has been provided by Schneider Downs, Burns White, and Caesar’s Designs. Out of this World! was conceived and organized for The Forbes Galleries, New York City, by Elyse Zorn Karlin, private curator and Co-Director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA).
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, www.carnegiemnh.org.
Lunar Excursion Module.
Cartier Paris, 1969.
Made for and formerly owned by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins. Cartier Collection. Photo credit: Nils Hermann, Cartier Collection ©Cartier.
Pol Bury Suite.
Designed by Pol Bury.
Circa 1890, this jewel in 18K gold and nephrite jade evokes a rocket. Part of the Lang Antiques Collection.
Designed by Marc Schneider.