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Greek. Wreath (details), 3rd–2nd century B.C.E. Gold. Brooklyn Museum; Gift of George D. Pratt, 26.763. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Solid Gold

November 15, 2024–July 6, 2025

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor

Behold the majesty of gold in a shimmering exhibition dedicated to the element that has inspired countless works of art, fashion, film, music, and design. As a material and a color, gold has symbolized beauty, honor, joy, ritual, spirituality, success, and wealth throughout history. It has also taken on myriad forms: from millennia-old depictions of an idealized world to opulent 13th- and 14th-century Italian altarpieces and intricate Japanese screens, to contemporary artwork and haute couture marvels. With a sweeping range of objects and a global perspective, this exhibition will trace the many odysseys of the metal that has influenced cultures and legacies worldwide. 

Opening on the occasion of the Brooklyn Museum’s 200th anniversary, Solid Gold features more than 400 works, pairing showpieces from the collection with stunning international loans. The fashion world’s embrace of gold will be seen in standout designs by Anna Sui, Christian Dior, Demna, Gianfranco Ferré, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, Halston, Mary McFadden, The Blonds, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Yves Saint Laurent. Gold-ground paintings and sculptures, coins, and other treasures will sparkle alongside jewelry by Alexander Calder, Belperron, Bulgari, Cartier, Charles Loloma, Jacob & Co, and Verdura—as well as grillz by Gabby Elan. While celebrating the seductive magic of this luminous material, the exhibition will also confront darker histories, inviting frank discussions about the human and environmental costs of extracting gold ore from the earth. Solid Gold will immerse you in one of humankind’s most dazzling obsessions.

Solid Gold is organized by Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture; Catherine Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Decorative Arts; and Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art; with Imani Williford, Curatorial Assistant, Photography, Fashion, and Material Culture.