GOLD OF THE GODS – WORLDMUSEUM ROTTERDAM

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Last week I saw a news article online that they currently have an exhibition called the Gold of the Gods from Java at the World Art Museum at the harbor of Rotterdam. So that sounded like something we had to see!

– The mysterious world of the Javanese Kingdom remained closed to outsiders for over a thousand years, with only the statues hewn from lava rock at Borobudur displaying the wealth with which the Javanese rulers venerated their gods. The Wereldmuseum is bringing you a world première with its exhibition Gold of the Gods. It is a privilege to show you the most extensive collection of Javanese gold from the seventh to the eleventh centuries on display today, the beauty of which can barely be grasped by contemporary audiences.
On special occasions Javanese royalty would adorn themselves with jewelry originally intended for the gods, in honor of Vishnu, Shiva, and Parvati by embodying them. The jewelry itself was crafted by the most highly renowned goldsmiths, requiring not only superior craftsmanship but also spiritual knowledge as illustrated by the sagas and legends adorning the individual pieces and that portray the active role played by the gods in Javanese society.
The Wereldmuseum is proud to be the first museum in the world to exhibit this collection. Being aware of our tremendous responsibility not only towards the collector, but also with regard to the collection’s history, our aim was to create a presentation that will enable the audience to tangibly perceive the contemporary mysteries surrounding the works on display.
This production was made possible with the cooperation of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and, in particular, the National Museum of World Cultures in Amsterdam and Leiden. These museums were willing to lend us several pieces from their permanent collections to enhance our exhibition. Additionally, the Documentation Centre for Ancient Indonesian Art in Amsterdam lent us several photographs of the Borobudur. We are very grateful for these valuable additions to the exhibition.-

 

Yesterday we had a day off and decided to make a trip to the museum in Rotterdam. It turned out to be a very impressive collection of golden jewelry from Java, holding some very exclusive items which we never saw anywhere else before. The set up of the museum is quite simple but classy. You can get really close to the items, exposed in glass showcases  to be able to see the extreme details and complex designs of this ancient jewelry.

Beside the exhibition of the Indonesian gold, there’s a big Tibetan / Japanese section in the museum. Showing a great collection of buddha statues in all different forms and size’s and a great example of a traditional Buddhistic temple. Even the Dalai Lama personally visited the museum in May last year! At the end of the exhibition you will find a gift shop, with a small book section selling a great selection of books about Indonesia,Tibet, batik, keris, wayang, the Pacific, buddhism, etc!

 

Ratu_KidulI was very happy to find this little book about Kanjeng Ratu Kidul by Ruud Greve, The Legend of the South Sea Queen. A Javanese mystery that fascinates me for years already. Soon more about this story on the blog!

Overall it was a nice, educative day out. We would definitely recommend this exhibition / museum to everybody who is interested in ancient jewelry or the Indonesian / Tibetan heritage in general.

You can still visit this exhibition till 6 April 2015.

Entrance: 15,- + free audio tour / CJP: 3,- / free guided tours on every Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information: http://www.wereldmuseum.nl/

 

 

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