Shackles of beauty: Bracelets through the Ages



The beauty of bracelets through the ages can be admired at the Adamson-Eric Museum


The exhibition includes archaeological finds, bracelets designed by Adamson-Eric, and jewellery from the collections of several Estonian museums.

“At the exhibition, we take a look at history, by travelling to either side of the time axis defined by the bracelets designed by Adamson-Eric: on one side are archaeological finds from the end of the Bronze Age and beginning of the Iron Age and, on the other side, artists’ creations from the second decade of the 20th century until the present day,” said the art historian Ülle Kruus, the author of the exhibition’s concept.


The Chains of Beauty: Bracelets through the Ages exhibition is the result of the cooperation between two curators and two designers who gathered a representative cross-section of the archaeological finds in Estonia from the Bronze Age to the 13th century, which come from the collections of the Institute of History at Tallinn University. The best examples of professional jewellery art are also part of the exhibition.

“The exhibition’s concept provides room for various interpretations that reveal the extraordinary cultural background of Estonia as an intersection of various travel routes, in which a dialogue develops between various eras, people, master craftspeople, cultural sign systems and creativity,” added Ülle Kruus.


The exhibition includes most of the bracelets designed by Adamson-Eric between 1932 and 1968. The multi-talented Estonian artist Adamson-Eric (1902–1968) designed his first set of bracelets for his older sister Aurora Semper in 1932. These two bracelets of the same width, but with different designs, inspired the in-depth examination of the history of bracelets in Estonia.

Over 200 items from the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the Tartu Art Museum, the Tallinn City Museum and the Institute of History at Tallinn University are on display, all of which contain an interesting message of the popularity and richness of expression of jewellery from ancient times to the present day.


The exhibition also includes artists’ jewellery from the 20th and 21st centuries. In 1923, a metal art department was established at the Tallinn Industrial Art School of the Republic of Estonia, which initially focused on skills in the field of ethnographic jewellery and filigree, but later developed into the excellent Department of Metal Art at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Today, the metal artists who have graduated from the Academy are highly regarded internationally, a reputation undoubtedly supported by traditions that reach back thousands of years.


Shackles of beauty: Bracelets through the Ages will be on display at the Adamson-Eric Museum until 7 April 2012.