Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection
Desert Jewels presents a superb collection of jewelry from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt, along with late nineteenth- and early twentieth century photographs of North African landscapes, urban scenes, and portraits. The book blends a careful analysis of traditional North African jewelry design and Amazigh (also known as Berber) culture with dazzling images of ornate necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and fibulae. Kristyne Loughran's essay, "Jewels in the Dust," shows North African jewelry - ornate, colorful, and heavy - as an expression of the cultural diversity of North Africa and the mingling of its many peoples. In "The History of Photography in North Africa," Cynthia Becker discusses how at the end of the nineteenth century, when archaeological monuments in North Africa were being explored, several prominent European photographers captured the landscapes and people of this region. Many of the images were used in postcards, while others remained hidden in little known collections. Kristyne Loughran is an independent scholar in Florence, Italy, and co-author of Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World. Cynthia Becker is assistant professor of art history at Boston University. She is the author of Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity.
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