Monday, 20 June 2011

Van Cleef & Arpels

Set in Style, an exhibition of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery throughout the 20th century, is on at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. I had the opportunity to see the show when I was in New York for the Australian Jewellery Topos exhibition recently, and it's truly a knockout show. Visitors to the exhibition are lent an iPad loaded with high quality images of the work to zoom in on for detailed views, and videos including interviews, workshop footage, and a discussion of their patented signature 'mystery setting' (with no visible setting, seen in the above piece).
The exhibition itself is set up throughout the mansion-turned-museum, with over 350 pieces of jewellery, objects and technical drawings shown in innovative custom displays that change in each room, designed with the original function of each room in mind. The dining room is fitted with bubble-like display cases lining a large table; the atrium holds dozens of butterfly brooches which seem to be fluttering in mid-air.

The exhibition runs until 4 July: if you're in New York, get there! If not, visit the comprehensive exhibition website.

Images from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

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