I took students to the Field Museum to view the ‘Dazziling Diamonds’ show. It was strange to me because it seemed as if the exhibition was fashioned after the how the Granger Hall of Gems used to be. I am getting ahead of myself. There are two new exhibitions at the Field. The Diamond show is temporary and the Granger Hall of Gems is Permanent. The diamond show was dark, felt temporary, and was difficult to see information. They had pieces of material laid over mistyped in the print. There were some lovely examples of how light travels through a brilliant cut diamond but an illustration does just as well. A nicer example of the phosphorescence of some diamonds. Lots of technical panels on the physical properties of diamonds. Then you get to see the jewelry. I know this is an extremely expensive show to insure, it must be. I would have prefered that the jewelry be singled out more. It reminded me of the old hall of Gems; dark, somewhat dull and stressing the mining/industrial/physical over the artistic and human aspects of diamonds. They only had one panel on the famous who wear diamonds. I appreciated that this wasn’t the focus of the show but I know that’s part of the guilty pleasure of loving sparkle. The contemporary, designer pieces on display were strong. I am returning to the show on Thursday and have hired a docent for the class so I will learn more then. First impressions were not strong. I don’t know if I would have been impressed without already knowing so much about diamonds.
We then went upstairs to see the remodeled Granger Hall of Gems. I am very familiar with these stones having seen them on each visit to the Field that I have made over the years. The light airy and large feel was much more comfortable. The pieces are better organized and grouped with extra information running along the top. The diamond brooch in the Granger Hall sparkles like diamonds on display are supposed to. To me, the Granger was better than the Diamond Show.