The exhibit “Pearls: A Natural History” will make its sole stop in Canada this fall. Organized by The American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with The Field Museum, Chicago, the exhibit will open at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on Sept. 18 and run through Jan. 9, 2005.
The exhibit covers the pearl’s natural characteristics and its cultural history. The different pearl varieties are showcased, including marine and freshwater pearls from all over the world, and one display allows the viewer to see the layered structure of a pearl magnified 50,000 times its actual size.
The use of pearls in religious icons, the decorative arts, and 20th-century fashion also is emphasized. Examples range from a third-century La Paz shell pendant from Ecuador that’s carved with the image of two deities holding a fish, to the strand of Mikimoto cultured akoyas that Joe DiMaggio bought for Marilyn Monroe on their 1954 honeymoon.
After its stop in Canada, the exhibit moves to the Milwaukee Public Museum and then to the Natural Science Museum in Tokyo, followed by the Natural History Museum of London.
For more information, visit the Royal Ontario Museum’s Web site, www.rom.on.ca.