The beautiful creations of Australian National Living Treasure Robert Baines will be on view at the Arkansas Arts Center beginning July 20. Robert Baines: Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies celebrates the work of the master goldsmith, craftsman and scholar.

A leading scholar in the field of archaeometallurgy, (you know, the study of metals produced by people in ancient times), Baines has revived Bronze Age goldsmith techniques. He puts a fresh spin on things by combining precious metals and contemporary materials to push the boundaries of what wearable art can be.

The exhibit presents three jewelry stories projecting jewelry as material evidence of history. But the artist’s stories should be read with caution because his linear histories are confused by myth, riddle, puzzle and possible subversions of jewelry history. For example, in "Armbandits," Baines explores how an 11th-century Islamic armlet in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art may have been "misunderstood, misinterpreted and become a fantasy of influence of further design," ranging from armbands, bracelets and finger rings to a hair clip and buttons. 

The exhibit's presentation in Arkansas was supported by Marion W. Fulk and the Alan DuBois Contemporary Craft Fund. The exhibit will be on display at the Arkansas Arts Center from July 20 - Oct. 7. For more info on the exhibit, head to the AAC's website