Asian Jewelry Conference
September 20, 2014
10:00 - 6:00 PM
A full day of presentations on Asian jewelry by leading scholars in the decorative arts. Registration includes admission to the Museum.
Saturday, September 20, 2014 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Katherine Anne Paul, PhD, Curator, The Newark Museum, Asian Arts Department
Keynote: Material and Spiritual Riches: Jewels and Jewelry in Himalayan Arts
Eric Hoffman, Jade Collector and Researcher - Jade, The Precious Stone of Heaven
Michael Teller, TK Antiques - Scientifically Documenting Asian Antiquities: The Dating of Gold
Robert Mintz, Ph.D,Chief Curator, Walters Art Museum - Use and Re-Use of Japanese Lacquer for Decorative Arts
Cecilia Levin, Researcher, Harvard University - Ancient Javanese Jewelry
Margaret Duda, Author of Four Centuries of Silver Ornaments, Personal Adornment in the Qing Dynasty and After, Traditional Chinese Toggles - Chinese Silver Jewelry
Susan Ollemans, Susan Ollemans Oriental Art - Indian Period Jewelry
Emily Banis Stoehrer, Assistant Professor at Fisher College, Boston - Asian Textiles: All that Glitters Isn’t Gold
There is a separate registration for the Study Day, Sunday September 21, 2014
About the presentations and speakers
Material and Spiritual Riches: Jewels and Jewelry in Himalayan Art
Katherine Anne Paul, PhD, Curator, The Newark Museum
In Himalayan art jewels and jewelry are inherently pious offerings, believed to benefit the donor, creator, and all who wear and view them. More than just a feast for the eyes, precious substances are metaphors
for spiritual transformation. Flaming or wish-granting jewels (called cintamani) fulfill all desires and appear both singly and piled in a heap. In a group of three, the triple-gem (triratna) in Buddhist art
symbolizes the Buddha (an enlightened being), the Dharma (Buddhist teachings), and the Sangha (Buddhist community). Even the jewelry itself is intended to activate higher levels of spiritual consciousness-not only for peaceful and fierce divine figures but also for mundane humans. This lecture will illuminate many facets of how Himalayan art harnesses the appeal of gemstones and jewelry to lead viewers’ minds from the mundane to the sacred.
Katherine Anne Paul is Curator of the Arts of Asia at the Newark Museum. Since her appointment at the Newark Museum in 2008 she has created six temporary exhibitions and re-installed over twenty permanent galleries showcasing both traditional and contemporary art originating in Southeast, Central and East Asia including Newark Museum’s renowned Tibet collection. Dr. Paul’s exhibition Tiaras to Toe Rings, Asian Ornaments first opened at Newark to showcase solely Himalayan and Mongolian jewelry, but currently highlights jewelry from all regions of Asia. Previously, Dr. Paul was Associate Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she produced nine boutique exhibitions featuring Himalayan Art.
She lectures widely and holds a B.A. in Art History from Reed College and a Ph.D. in the Languages and Cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Tibetan, Sanskrit and Nepali. As a Fulbright scholar, Dr. Paul ived in Nepal and has performed field research in sixteen Asian nations during the past nineteen years.
All That Glitters: Precious and Jewel-like Materials from Bengal to Bali
Emily Banis Stoehrer, Ph.D candidate
Beetle wings, mirrors, gold thread, kingfisher feathers, and embroidery are just a few examples of the decorations that are added to garments from places like India, China, Thailand, and Japan. Asian traditional dress and costumes incorporate a variety of shimmering and jewel-like elements that are visually stunning, but also serve as powerful symbols within the culture they emerge from. This paper will survey the diverse materials that are historically found on clothes from across the Asian continent and discuss the meaning behind their use.
Emily Banis Stoehrer is a professor of Fashion Merchandising at Boston’s Fisher College and previously worked in the department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. From 2007 until 2008 she assisted with the documentation and photography of more than 10,000 Asian costume and textile objects in the Museum’s collection. Stoehrer received a master’s degree in Fashion & Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice from the Fashion Institute of Technology and is currently working on her PhD at Salve Regina University.
Jade, the Precious Stone of Heaven
Eric J. Hoffman, Researcher and Writer
Jade is a remarkable material that has been held in high esteem in China
and other parts of the world for thousands of years. Jade is extremely difficult to carve but the results are beautiful objects and jewelry. This lecture will discuss the two forms of jade-nephrite and jadeite, the colors and qualities of jade, how to tell real jade from “look-alikes,” how to assess the artistry of carved jade, and offer clues to dating jade, including iconography.
Eric Hoffman is an aerospace engineer who spent his career at the
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and retired as Chief Engineer of the Space Department. He has been studying, collecting, and selling Asian arts, antiques, antiquities, and- most especially- jades and snuff bottles for over 40 years. A member of the worldwide organization Friends of Jade and the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, he is a jade consultant to the Chinese Cultural Relics Association and contributing editor to Adornment Magazine on Asian subjects. He has written many articles and reviews on the subject of jade.
Hoffman has lectured for the GIA Alumni Association in New York and Washington, D.C., the Bead Society of Greater Washington, the Chinese Cultural Relics Association, and for other organizations. He was the consultant for the exhibition Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age which was at The Forbes Galleries, New York City and will be traveling to other venues in 2015 and beyond.
Chinese Silver Adornment in the Qing Dynasty and After
Margaret Duda, Author
This lecture on “Chinese Silver Adornment in the Qing Dynasty and After” will cover three main categories. The utilitarian pieces include the grooming kits, needle cases, hairpins, combs, fragrance carriers, eating kits, and opium boxes. Another important group denoted rank such as the fingernail guards, earrings, hairpins, personal seals, torques, and Imperial Court necklaces. The third and possibly most interesting group of artifacts satisfied superstitions such as the bells for scaring away evil spirits, the locks for securing an infant to life, babies for fertility, Hakka women for abundance, artifacts with double happiness symbols or double fish for conjugal bliss, qilins for insuring a son’s success on his civil service examinations, reproductions of gods for longevity and wealth, and small silver animals to aid every aspiration imaginable.
Since the Qing dynasty, which lasted from 1644 to 1911, included the Manchus, who had political power, the Han Chinese, the Inner Mongolians, the Tibetans and fifty-five ethnic minority groups, each group wove their customs and creativity into their pieces and Margaret will touch upon the differences and the different methods of silversmithing. She will also explain how the silver pieces were collected in the cultural revolution and often melted down for currency or else combined with beads and silver bits and pieces to form necklaces for sale to foreigners. Today it is rare to find silver artifacts in their original condition. Photographic illustrations will accompany the lecture with time for questions.
Margaret Duda became interested in Chinese adornment and symbolism when her family went on a six month sabbatical in Taiwan in 1978. It was not until 1992, however, that she found five Qing dynasty silver needle cases in an antique shop in Pennsylvania and became interested in antique Chinese silver. She soon discovered numerous Chinese silver artifacts and looked for a book on the subject but found none, so she decided to write one with illustrations by her fine art photographer son Paul.
Nine trips to China and ten years later, Four Centuries of Silver: Personal Adornment in the Qing Dynasty and After was published in 2002. Articles on Chinese silver were also published in Arts of Asia. Ornament, and the brochure for the NY Arts of Pacific Asia show.
In addition to hundreds of publications, Margaret Duda has had her own photos published in the New York Times, numerous books and newspapers, and has exhibited her work in one woman and group gallery shows. She has also traveled to more than forty countries and has sold her jewelry creations through seventeen art museum gift shops and boutiques. Her latest book, Traditional Chinese Toggles: Counterweights and Charms, was published in 2011 and may be found on Amazon. She feels her latest two books combine her interests in writing, photography, and adornment.
18th and 19th Century Indian Mughal Jewelry
This lecture will be a discussion of fine Indian jewelry from the 18th and 19th century and will describe fabrication methods, design, and significance of the magnificent jewelry from the Mughal period.
Sue Ollemans has been dealing with Oriental Art since 1979 and has worked with private collections and museums around the world.
Sue specializes in Mughal and antique Gold Indian jewelry and antique gold articles from China and South East India. She was trained at the Percival David Foundation, SOAS London University and worked as an agent for Spink and Sons for 15 years.
Scientifically Documenting Asian Antiquities: The Dating of Gold
Michael Teller, TK Antiques
This lecture will discuss a new method for testing the age of gold. This test can be used on objects which are primarily gold, even if alloyed with silver and/or copper.
To date, the scientific testing of most metal cannot provide an actual calendar age. Gold is one of the few exceptions. A technique known as Uranium, Thorium, 4-Helium (U, Th, 4-He) Analysis has the potential to date the last time gold was heated above a critical temperature, such as during the manufacture of an object. The pioneering use of this method will be the subject of this lecture.
TK Asian Antiquities has been a dealer, researcher, and consultant in antique and ancient Asian art for several decades. As well as having acquired one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese artifacts in the world over the past 30 years, TK’s staff has made hundreds of exploratory trips to China’s museums, warehouses, dealers, collections and archaeological sites. A product of these endeavors is that TK has developed extensive on-site scientific research, conservation and restoration facilities.
Michael Teller is the founder of TK Antiquities has handled thousands of ancient artifacts from China in the last 30 years and is serious about authenticating pieces. Melinda Roy is the director research at TK. Melanie Roy is the Director of Research at TK Antiques.
Japanese Raw Materials: The Repurposing and Reuse of Japanese Decorative Arts
Robert Mintz, Ph.D, Chief Curator, Walters Art Museum
Dr. Mintz explores Japanese art that has been treated as a raw material for embellishment and enhancement of new works of art both inside Japan and abroad. From the insetting of maki-e lacquer panels in European furniture during the 16th and 17th centuries, to the creation of jewelry fashioned from delicate inlaid metalwork harvested from old sword furniture during the later19th century, he will explore both the practical concerns and the socio-cultural implications of this artistic practice.
Robert Mintz (Ph.D. University of Washington, 2002) is Chief Curator at the Walters Art Museum. He joined the Walters in 2006 as Assistant Curator of Asian Art, with expertise specifically in the study of 18th century Japanese painting. While at the Walters he has developed exhibitions and installations exploring points of intersection between Eastern and Western art, 18th century Japanese painting, contemporary Indian painting, Japanese decorative arts, William Walters’ 1897 catalog of his Asian porcelain collection, Japanese Modern woodblock prints, and contemporary art from both Thailand and Japan.
In addition to serving in his curatorial position, he has periodically taught courses in East Asian Art history and Museum Studies for Towson University and for the Johns Hopkins University.
Glittering Emblems, The Design Schema and Significance of Ancient Javanese Gold
Cecilia Levin, Ph.D, Art Historian
Between the eighth and the sixteenth centuries, the Indonesian island of Java witnessed an extraordinary cultural renaissance that could truly be regarded as a “Golden Age”. The magnificence of this epoch is clearly manifested in the extant sacred monuments and stone statuary attributed to this era. However, equally revealing are the objects of gold— often miniscule in scale— which were created primarily for purposes of adornment and ritual. These works were more than ornamental, they fulfilled specific Javanese socio-religious needs and ideals related to kingship. The many of the concepts and traditions they signify— as well as particular powerful and magical connotations associated with element of gold— are traceable to the earliest stages of Indian culture and subsequently transmitted to Java during the second half of the first millennium CE. Here they amalgamated with indigenous beliefs and metallurgical techniques. This presentation will examine the style, function, and motifs of ancient Javanese gold— by means of the recently discovered Wonoboyo Hoard as well as specific objects in museum and private collections— to demonstrate their use as emblems of the most important element in Javanese society, mainly, the ruler and his divine transformation.
Cecelia Levin is an art historian specializing in the Art and Archaeology of South and Southeast Asia; she obtained her doctorate in this subject area from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her career has spanned the teaching of Asian art history at several colleges and universities as well the holding of curatorial and research positions in the Department of Asian Art of Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Asia Society, Inc., the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Levin’s areas of specialization include the sculptural traditions of the Central Javanese period, Classical Javanese gold, and modes of visual narration of the R?m?yana in South and Southeast Asia. She has received fellowships and grants for her work from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Asian Cultural Council, the Association of Asian Studies, and the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands, and has written on a broad array of topics related to Asian art.
Photo: Matthieu Ricard