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Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry Exhibition Highlights the Maison’s Glittering Past

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The expansive Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love exhibition, which closes next month, explores the titular themes through the art of jewelry. Curated by Alba Cappellieri, director of the Vicenza Museum of Jewelry and jewelry design professor, and designed by Johanna Grawunder, the showcase includes over 400 pieces of jewelry, watches, and precious objects housed within Milan’s Palazzo Reale. Collected from the maison’s archives, which reaches back to its founding in 1906, the array of riches are accompanied by documents, sketches, and illustrated designs that bring the artistry of the collection to life.

In addition to its core tenants of Time, Nature, and Love, the collection is framed through the values found in writer Italo Calvino’s “Six Memos for the Next Millennium.” Highlighted in the exhibition’s first section of Time, Calvino’s ideas of lightness, quickness, visibility, exactitude, and multiplicity are explored through the glittering, one-of-a-kind necklaces, timepieces, and accessories, with each piece representing its own time. Other disciplines interpreted by the fine jewelry include dance, fashion, architecture.

The symbolism that jewels can carry is most apparent in the Love section, which displays tokens of romance in the form of a glittering diamond necklace gifted to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton, a set of Romeo and Juliet brooches set with precious jewels, and other lust-worthy pieces.

In the nature section, various flora and fauna are embodied by sculpted pieces encrusted with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other gems.

While some themes are more abstract than others, Cappellieri sought to convey Van Cleef & Arpels’ DNA of craftsmanship, art, and glamour while also acknowledging jewelry’s “balance between eternity and ephemeral, tradition and fashion, love and investment, beauty and concept nature and fiction.”

Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love is free to view at the Palazzo Reale in Milan through February 23, 2020.


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createdAt:Tue, 07 Jan 2020 14:29:16 +0000
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