Thursday, April 19, 2012

Belber-Jiménez Museo

Diego Rivera gave this necklace to Frida Kahlo.
On the back is an inscription "Te quiero Sapo"

Federico Jiménez, originally from the village of Tutuepec, resides in Southern California where he has been collecting and making jewelry for many years. Today he is a world renowned authority on Mexican silver, Pre-Columbian and Mixtec jewelry. In 1965, Federico and Ellen Belber Jiménez started a collection of jewelry, gold and silver work, textiles and popular art.  This collection is exhibited in the Belber Jiménez Museum.  The museum was opened with a view toward revaluation of these objects as examples of Mexican design and to show how the past serves as inspiration for the present. The Belber Jiménez Museum has four thematic rooms and a room for temporary exhibits. 

From San Pedro Tututepec and in the Jimenez family
 for generations the Mixtec necklace features a bead
 made by the lost wax process with two eagle heads.
Starting in the room of Mexican jewelry and metalwork, where you can observe archeological and colonial pieces, as well as those of an independent Mexico.  There are also the works of
designers of the twentieth century, among whom William Spratling, Antonio Pineda and Matilde Poulat stand out. One of the most popular pieces of the collection is the necklace worn by Frida Kahlo when she died, given to her by Diego Rivera and inscribed with "Te quiero, Sapo" (I love you, Toad). The next room holds diverse expressions of popular Mexican art, from wooden chests from Oaxaca and Guerrero to figures of clay and glazed ceramics from various regions of the country. 

The room dedicated to textiles has principally articles from Oaxaca.  The displays are arranged so that you can see the richness of the weaving on both sides of the pieces.  Finally, the temporary exhibit that inaugurated the Belber Jiménez Museum is dedicated to the textile richness which is found both in the sarapes of Saltillo as well as the weavings of Teotitlán del Valle. An English guidebook is available which describes the background of each exhibit, and there is a store selling jewelry and antiques.  It is located at Matamoros No. 307 at the corner of Tinoco y Palacios, telephone: 514 50 35.  Hours are Monday thru Friday 10.00-14.00 and 16.00-18.00. Saturday 10.00-14.00.  For more pictures and a closer look please visit my picasa web album where you can enlarge the earrings below to admire the filigree.

These earrings from the 18th century are called El Jardin and form a filigree cocoon with coral beads.

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