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Spectacular Lecture Series

Spectacular Lecture Series
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 5:00pm to Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 8:00pm

Join us and explore centuries of appreciation of gems and jewelry in this fascinating four-part lecture series.

Learn about how gems and jewels captivated diverse cultures through history and continue to enthrall contemporary audiences. Gain insights into what makes a stone great, revel in the glamour of jewelry design in the 1930s and 1940s, and immerse yourself in the Merriweather Post collection, arguably one of the most impressive jewelry ensembles of the twentieth century.

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection was conceived of and organized by Hillwood’s chief curator and director of collections, Liana Paredes, who also wrote the publication of the same name. Liana passed away at her home on March 16, 2017.

  • Harry Winston turquoise necklace from Spectacular exhibition at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Turquoise and Diamond Necklace, Harry Winston, 1961

    Photography by Square Moose Inc.

Upcoming events

This program is the first of the Spectacular lecture series. Exceptional gems, dazzling twentieth-century jewelry, and legendary historic jewels offer an enthralling glimpse...
Supported by stunning visuals, Executive Director Kate Markert provides new insights into Post’s unique collection through pieces from world-renowned firms such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston, chic jewels from boutique firms David Webb and Verdura as well as an impressive ensemble of historical pieces, among them the Empress...
Thursday 5 October - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Visitor Center Theater
$7-80

Series Pricing: $80, $40 Member, $28 Student; Individual Lecture Pricing: $20, $10 Member, $7 Student

Part of: Jewelry
This program is the second part of the Spectacular lecture series. The National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution is renowned for its rare and magnificent gems,...
It is also known for its historic pieces, many of which were donated by Marjorie Merriweather Post. These include the Marie Antoinette earrings, the Blue Heart diamond, the Marie Louise diadem, and the Maximilian emerald. This beautifully illustrated talk by the curator-in-charge, Jeffrey E. Post, will explore the rich, fascinating stories behind...
Thursday 12 October - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Visitor Center Theater
$7-80

Series Pricing: $80, $40 Member, $28 Student; Individual Lecture Pricing: $20, $10 Member, $7 Student

Part of: Lectures and talks
This program is the third part of the Spectacular lecture series During the 1930s and 1940s, actresses like Joan Crawford, Mae West, and Claudette Colbert graced the silver...
Influencing trends in jewelry and publicizing the names of jewelers-to-the-stars like Paul Flato and Trabert & Hoeffer—Mauboussin, their choices had a lasting impact on American tastes in jewelry. Combining glamorous images and film clips, Dr. Emily Stoehrer will share tales about the jewelry worn on- and off-screen by America’s most famous...
Thursday 19 October - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Visitor Center Theater
$7-80

Series Pricing: $80, $40 Member, $28 Student; Individual Lecture Pricing: $20, $10 Member, $7 Student

Part of: Jewelry
This program is the fourth and final part of the Spectacular lecture series. For millennia, humans have been fascinated, inspired, and enticed by gems and jewelry.
Yet what makes a stone a jewel, and why are some more valuable than others? How has the course of history been shaped by our insatiable desire for them? Join Aja Raden, author of the New York Times best-selling book Stoned, for a stimulating conversation with Executive Director Kate Markert about contemporary interest in jewelry and gemstones and...
Thursday 26 October - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Visitor Center Theater
$7-80

Series Pricing: $80, $40 Member, $28 Student; Individual Lecture Pricing: $20, $10 Member, $7 Student

Part of: Jewelry