From time immemorial, mankind has found the beauty and complexity of nature to be a fertile source for personal adornment. This exhibition explores the concept of nature in jewelry design as a reflection of our culture’s evolving relationship with our biological surroundings, from the fetishization of the Art Nouveau movement to the current politicization of environmental activism.

Curated by Shelburne Museum’s curator of design arts Kory Rogers, this sensational show will be organized into three thematic sections based on specific materials and techniques. Section one, title “Rare Specimens,” will focus on precious gems and metals and will feature jewelry made by the world’s premiere artists including Harry Winston, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, Bulgari, Vendura, and Tiffany & Co.

The second section, “Second Nature,” will feature the work of artisans who use semi-precious stones and other organic materials such as shells, bone, and ivory. The third section, “Biomimicry,” will focus on nature-inspired costume jewelry that highlights the paradox of constructing organic designs from synthetic materials.