Doha: ‘Pearls’ exhibition, organised by Qatar Museums (QM), opened at Museu de Arte Brasileira (Brazilian Museum of Art) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday.
It runs until September 28, as part of Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture.
On display are over 200 pieces of jewellery and artworks showcasing a variety of colour and shape of natural and cultured pearls.
The expo examines how pearls have been employed over centuries in East and West as a symbol of status and wealth, how tastes vary in different cultures and the changing designs of jewellery with pearls.
Safiya Saif Al Hajari, Director, Strategic Cultural Relations, QM, said: “The idea behind organising the exhibition is to pay tribute to our ancestors who made sacrifices and depended on the pearls trade to sustain livelihood. By organising the expo, QM aims to enhance awareness among the Brazilian community about the significance of pearls in Qatari history. It highlights a common historical aspect for Qatari and Brazilian people.”
The exhibition, supported by Qatar Petroleum International and Shell as platinum sponsors, is a highlight of Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture which aims to forge new partnerships in education, sport, creative industries and science, while promoting awareness and appreciation of each other’s culture, achievements and heritage.
The exhibition began with an insight into the natural history of pearls and the pearl fishing trade from the Arabian Gulf to Europe and Asia since antiquity.
A collection of rare pearls and pearl-bearing mollusks demonstrate how Gulf pearls have long been some of the most desirable and valuable in the world.
It also reveals often dangerous working methods of pearl divers and shows trading practices of pearl merchants in the Gulf, with examples of equipment required for weighing and valuing pearls.
The second section of the exhibition explores the representation of pearls in jewellery and highlights how the design changed through history, taking the exhibition up to date with contemporary work made by designers. It also follows the invention of the cultured pearl and its production on an industrial scale initiated by Kokichi Mikimoto in Japan. The jewellery and artworks are drawn from QM’s collections, alongside objects from Mikimoto & Co, Yoko London and Alfardan, Qatar. The Peninsula