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Beyond the Gilded Age: Gold in America
April 20 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
About this event
Gold’s warm glow, resistance to corrosion, and rarity have made it a preferred material for objects meant to convey prestige, authority, or devotion. This talk by John Stuart Gordon, curator of Yale University Art Gallery’s current show, Gold in America: Artistry, Memory, Power, will focus on the exuberant and tumultuous years between the Gold Rush of 1848 and World War I. During this period, precious metal embodied promise, success, cunning, and greed. The discovery of gold in California lured fortune-seekers from around the globe, a handful of whom used their newfound wealth to shape New York’s culture. Once the nation moved onto the gold standard, the material became political and, in the hands of some sculptors, quietly subversive. Many of the sumptuous objects, coins, and paintings in this talk are included in the exhibition, Gold in America, on display through July 10, 2022.
John Stuart Gordon is the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Curator of American Decorative Arts at Yale University Art Gallery. John works on all aspects of American decorative arts and material culture, but his specialties are silver, modernist designs of the 1920s and 1930s, and postmodernism. In addition to his curatorial work, he supervises Furniture Study, the Art Gallery’s expansive study collection of American furniture and wooden objects.
Image: Tiffany and Company, Coffee Service for Alice Belin du Pont, New York, designed 1910–11. 18-karat gold. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of G. d’Andelot Belin, B.A. 1939