Vanderbilt Silver

July 2-November 11, 2018

For centuries, silver was considered a luxury reserved only for the elite, and master silversmiths came to be revered for the remarkable craftsmanship and design in their work. But silver was more than just riches: it was also a symbolic embodiment of affluence, taste and education.

The history of silver at Vanderbilt University is rooted in the great American fortune of founder Cornelius Vanderbilt, who rose to wealth and social prominence from the railroad and shipping industries. This exhibition shares dazzling examples of silver that celebrated his achievements and made way for a tradition of using silver to mark important ceremonies and award deserving recipients at the university. The selection of silver on display draws up memorable moments in the university’s history, aims to introduce the vast art of silver making, and in many cases, comes to us directly from the Vanderbilt family.

Read more: Vanderbilt Silver | Library News Online

Share This Story