Golden Oldies

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Friday, February 6, 1998

Go with me? We're headed down the freeway for a little relaxation and a lot of dazzle at the Birmingham Art Museum. It's a "just for grownups" weekend so pack something nice and plan to dress for dinner after the show.

The show is a stunner; a superb collection of ancient gold jewelry on loan from the Dallas Museum of Art. More than a hundred examples of Greek, Estruscan, Roman and Near Eastern jewelry, dating from the 7th century BC to the 3rd century AD, are on display.

How did they do it? That's the first question in mind as we immerse ourselves in this era of artistic brilliance. The artisans created these pieces using only hand tools and an open fire, a feat that leaves contemporary goldsmiths wondering.

The intricate, sophisticated designs are like miniature sculptures. Look at the statue of Nike on the Greek earring. And the 3rd century BC Lion's head earring with the garnet eyes. Aphrodite and Eros dance on the head of a Greek pin that's three thousand years old.

Who wore this jewelry? The upper echelons of course, in prosperous cultures. Half the pieces in the collection are Greek, from a time when Greek trade was thriving in the Mediterranean.

Don't miss the chance to see this illuminating segment of a golden age. The exhibit stays in Birmingham till April, and it won't be displayed anywhere else east of the Mississippi. See you there.

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama
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