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April 14, 2010

HERMÈS NORTH AFRICAN JEWELRY COLLECTION BRIGHTENS SPRING AND SUMMER AT ARAB MUSEUM

Dearborn, MI—An exhibition of spectacular jewelry and historic photographs from the North African nations of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia opens to the public on Thursday, May 5, 2010 at the Arab American National Museum (AANM), 13624 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn, Michigan.

Noble Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection presents never-before-exhibited pieces of stunning North African jewelry and late 19th- and early 20th-century photographs by some of the period’s most prominent photographers. Organized by the Museum for African Art in New York, Noble Jewels will be on view at the AANM through Sunday, August 8, 2010. The exhibition in the Main Floor Gallery is free with Museum admission.

All are invited to celebrate the exhibition opening, as well as the AANM’s fifth anniversary, during a day of free events on Saturday, May 8. Additionally, groups of eight or more may now opt for a new, North African-themed docent-guided tour of both the jewelry exhibition and the AANM’s permanent exhibits. Those interested in learning more about North African jewelry traditions may enjoy browsing specially selected publications from the Museum’s Library & Resource Center during their visit.

Visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org for further details on this exhibition and Museum anniversary events. To schedule a docent-guided tour, call 313.624.0209.

Necklace


Collected over three decades by Xavier Guerrand-Hermès (biography appears below), Noble Jewels illuminates the diversity and beauty of traditional North African jewelry design. Ornate necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings show the inventive compositions and dazzling creations of North African jewelry designers and silver workers. Crafted from combinations of silver, coral, amber, coins and semi-precious stones, the exquisite collection includes wedding necklaces, hair ornaments, bracelets, earrings and fibula used to keep veils in place. The jewelry featured in Noble Jewels shows the common threads that run through North African societies, and also local variations in materials and motifs.

The Xavier Guerrand-Hermès collection, a portion of which has been given to the Museum for African Art in New York, is extraordinary for its breadth and quality. “From simple ornaments that would be worn by a child, to elaborate jeweled necklaces for women of wealth, the Guerrand-Hermès collection is a treasure that reflects the richness of the cultures of North Africa as well as the collector’s superlative taste,” says Elsie McCabe Thompson, president of the Museum for African Art.

North African jewelry came to the attention of Western collectors in the 19th century, the period when archaeological monuments in North Africa were being explored, visited, and, in some cases, pillaged. The most important photographers of the day, including the Scotsman George Washington Wilson, the Neurdine brothers from France, and the Turkish photographer Pascal Sabah, visited the region and photographed landscapes, architecture, markets, and people adorned in their jewels. Many of the images were used in postcards, while others remained hidden in little-known collections.

Xavier Guerrand-Hermès is a director and vice chairman of Hermès of Paris. He represents the fifth generation of the family to be involved in the ownership and management of the Paris-based firm. Guerrand-Hermès has founded the renowned Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, which actively supports inter-religious dialogues. He serves on a large number of boards, including the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions and the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Divinity School. He also serves as the Treasurer of the Religions for Peace Conference. With an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, Guerrand-Hermès is known for his expertise in the study of religion. He is an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University.

Noble Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection was organized by the Museum for African Art, New York and supported in part by the Robert Lehman Foundation. AANM’s presentation is made possible in part by Ford Foundation and Kresge Foundation.

The Museum for African Art in New York is one of the premier institutions in the United States devoted to exhibiting traditional and contemporary African art. On September 24, 2007, the Museum broke ground for a new permanent museum building designed by Robert A. M. Stern, Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture, on Manhattan’s Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue between 109th and 110th Street. The Museum’s administrative offices, educational facility and gift shop are temporarily located in Long Island City. Exhibitions are currently presented at off-site locations in New York City and tour nationally and internationally. For further information about the Museum and its exhibits, see www.africanart.org or call 718.784.7700.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. It serves as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization. Learn more at www.arabamericanmuseum.org and www.accesscommunity.org.

The Arab American National Museum is a proud Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Read about the Affiliations program at http://affiliations.si.edu.

The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI, 48126. Museum hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under, free. Call 313.582.2266 for further information.

Posted by kekeenan at April 14, 2010 03:31 PM

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