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Brooklyn Museum introduces the ‘Solid Gold’ exhibition to celebrate its 200th anniversary

Created in collaboration with Dior, the exhibition is organised in eight sections.

Gold, revered throughout human history for its unmatched beauty and rarity, has always symbolized wealth, power, and divinity across cultures. Recognising this, New York’s Brooklyn Museum is fittingly celebrating its 200th anniversary with the Solid Gold exhibition.

Solid Gold exhibition Brooklyn Museum

Visitors will be able to get a glimpse at the origins, artistic techniques, and masterful craftsmanship of goldsmithing, tracing the metal’s impact over 6000 years. Curated by Matthew Yokobosky, with Catherine Futter and Lisa Small, the exhibition runs from November 15, 2024, to July 6, 2025. The event is created in association with Dior and Bank of America.

Organized into eight captivating sections, Solid Gold will showcase historical works in visual dialogue with contemporary objects and fashions, igniting dynamic conversations across time and space.

Solid Gold exhibition Brooklyn Museum

Highlights include a stunning wooden sarcophagus from Dynasty 22 (945–740 BCE), displayed for the first time in over a century, adorned with yellow orpiment pigments to mimic gold inlays. The exhibition also features an extraordinary horde of 181 individual gold pieces from the Hellenistic period, alongside ancient jewelry, helmets, and chainmail from Egypt, the Mediterranean coast, and the pre-Hispanic Americas, illustrating the ancient world’s enduring fascination with gold.

Solid Gold exhibition Brooklyn Museum

Contemporary objects capture the allure of Ancient Egypt, including the prototype fly necklace created for Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963). Also featured are couture gowns by New York-based fashion house, The Blonds, from their “Egypt Meets Disco” collection (2016), and theatrical gowns from Christian Dior (2004; John Galliano, creative director), merging Egyptian history with Dior’s iconic “H-Line.” A dress by Azzedine Alaïa for Tina Turner (1989) showcases modern draped chainmail with pearls.

Gold chains also make a statement, with modern interpretations like the “dookie rope” and “Cuban links,” celebrating their enduring popularity in hip-hop culture from the 1980s onward.

Solid Gold exhibition Brooklyn Museum

Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum, Mr. Yokobosky shared, “Solid Gold will transport visitors through the many worlds of gold, its joyful (though sometimes heartbreaking) histories, and its innumerable luminous expressions across cultures, past and present. As a museum dedicated to bridging art and people in shared experiences, audiences will find inspiration, opening them to unexplored realms of beauty in their world.”

The exhibition also features gold fashions and artworks from the 1920s and ’30s, such as a 1934 gold- and silver-leaf panel by designer Jean Dupas from the short-lived ocean liner Normandie, contextualized alongside significant Art Deco timepieces by French jeweler Cartier.

Solid Gold exhibition Brooklyn Museum

Another highlight is the Museum’s Lunar Moth baby grand piano, restored and on public view for the first time since its creation in 1928. Designed by the renowned twentieth-century photographer Edward Steichen, this piano, one of only two known to exist, is crafted from mahogany inlaid with gilded bands and mirrored tesserae.

The exhibition will end with visitors viewing teamLab’s dynamic, animated golden waves, a complete digital experience.

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