Pearls | V&A and Qatar Museums Authority exhibition | 21 September 2013 – 19 January 2014


A rare selection of natural pearls from the Qatar Museums Authority Collection

A pearl-drop earring worn by Charles I at his execution in 1649, magnificent pearl tiaras worn by European nobility and a necklace of cultured pearls given to Marilyn Monroe by Joe DiMaggio in 1954 will be among the incredible array of jewels and other objects on display in a new exhibition at the V&A this autumn. Organised in partnership with the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), the exhibition will explore the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire to the present, and will be the highlight event of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture.

On display will be over 200 pieces of jewellery and works of art showcasing the extraordinary variety of colour and shape of natural and cultured pearls. The exhibition will examine how pearls have been employed over centuries in both East and West as a symbol of status and wealth, how tastes vary in different cultures and as well as the changing designs of jewellery with pearls.

The exhibition will be a highlight for the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture which aims to forge new partnerships in education, sport, creative industries and science, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of each other’s culture, achievements and heritage.

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