‘Cameo fever’ is talk topic

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Beth Carver Wees will give a talk, “Cameo Fever: From Catherine the Great to Scarlett O’Hara,” at The Claremont Hotel on Thursday, July 5, at 8:15 p.m.

Wees, who is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will discuss the history and popularity of the cameo, explaining the materials and techniques used and the variety of motifs associated with this most classic of jewelry forms.

“The ancient art of cameo carving experienced a spirited revival during the 18th and 19th centuries,” event organizers said. “These small portable sculptures were carved from hard stones, shells and other natural substances and were often mounted as jewelry. Catherine the Great of Russia described her insatiable appetite for carved stones as ‘cameo fever,’ and Empress Josephine Bonaparte wore cameo-laden parures in the neoclassical style.

“In the 19th century, superb hand-carved cameos were executed by Roman jewelry firms such as Saulini and Castellani, while the tourist trade shopped for mass-produced souvenirs in a revived Greco-Roman taste.”

The Claremont Hotel is at 22 Claremont Road. Call 244-5036.

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