Thursday, November 14, 2013

JAR

Post by Christine Webb

Jewels by JAR (November 20, 2013 - March 9, 2014)
I am so excited about the upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City that will feature 400 creations by Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the elusive artist who works in Paris under the name JAR.  The exhibition will be featured on the Metropolitan Museum's website at www.metmuseum.org.  And what a wonderful surprise, JAR has created a small exclusive collection of jewelry for the museum that will include earrings ($2,000 to $7,500) as well as watches all designed specifically for the event.  The pieces will be available at the Met, located at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street in Manhattan, coinciding with the exhibition.

 Earrings 2011: diamonds, emerald and pearls; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris
The exhibition will be the Met's first that is devoted exclusively to a living jeweler and will feature a selection of JAR's incredible pieces - from jeweled flowers to butterflies to objets d'art. 


Butterfly Brooch 1994: sapphires, rubies, green garnets, amethysts, black diamonds; Photo by Katharina Faerber/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Camellia Brooch 2010; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris


A devoted team of around 20 craftsmen bring his gem encrusted creations to life, mainly in Paris and Geneva.  JAR utilizes the technique of pavé, where the stones are set so closely together you don't see the setting or the metal.  JAR's one-of-a-kind art jewels place him among the world's greatest jewelers.

Cameo and Rose Petal Brooch 2011; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Zebra Brooch 1987: banded agate, diamonds; Photo by Katharina Faerber/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Art Scholar Adrian Sassoon writes for the exhibiton's catalogue: "Rosenthal the artist honors his materials...a unique JAR jewel is intended to make the new owner feel special, to share in the experience of having something of nature transformed."

My favorite JAR pieces from the exhibition are these amazing lilac brooches - the white lilac is encrusted with diamonds and green garnets, while the violet lilac has purple sapphires and green garnets, both created in aluminum, silver and gold - can't you just smell the fragrance!

Lilac Brooches 2001: diamonds, purple sapphires, green garnets; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris
Christine's Gem to Remember

Bracelet 2010: diamonds; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

What really has me excited about visiting the exhibit is the recent article: "JAR: The Jewels Money Can't Buy" by Stella Tennant and Lynn Barber, photographed by Kacper Kasprzyk.  It was the best article in Harper's Bazaar September 2013 issue and a rare one indeed, as interviews with JAR are extremely rare.  Stella Tennant writes about her encounter and friendship with JAR, and she models the most amazing pieces.  Lynn Barber provides an inside look at the designer.  And the photographs of the jewelry are spectacular.

Geranium Brooch 2007: diamonds; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris


Hoop Earrings 2008 (top) & Hoop Earrings 2010 (bottom); Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Patricia's personal favorite is JAR's Tulip Brooch below.  The combination of the way the metal folds back upon itself, the pavé set gemstones and enamel touches make this piece "quintessential JAR".

Tulip Brooch 2008: diamonds and rubies; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris
Patricia's Gem to Remember

Multicolored Handkerchief Earrings 2011; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Colored Balls Necklace 1999; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris


JAR's attendtion to detail, superb craftsmanship and beautiful artistry are what make his pieces coveted and highly sought after by connoiseurs and collectors of fine jewelry. Ellen Barkin sold 17 pieces through Christie's in 2006 and last year Lily Safra sold 18 pieces.  Both collections of JAR jewelry set record prices in the millions of dollars.

Poppy Brooch 1982: diamond with pink and green enamel; Photo by Katharina Faerber/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Raspberry Brooch 2011; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris

Joel (Arthur) Rosenthal was born in New York City.  In 1966 he graduated from Harvard University with a degree in art history before moving to Paris.  He initially worked in the film industry and then opened a needlepoint shop, where his clients included Hermés and Valentino.  After working with Bulgari in New York, he returned to Paris in 1977 and opened his one and only shop in the Place Vendome.  Rosenthal works with his partner, Pierre Jeannet, to create exquisite jewels, meticulous and imaginative, incorporating stones in unexpected color combinations.  Only 100-120 jewels are created each year, some taking years to complete, for an exclusive clientele.

In November 1987, in celebration of his 10th anniversary in Paris, Rosenthal held an exhibiton of his work at the National Academy of Design in New York City.  In November 2002, a retrospective of 400 jewels was held at the Gilbert Collection, Somerset House, in London.  

The exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be the first retropsective of his work in America. The book "Jewels by JAR" is being released on December 10, 2013 in conjunction with the exhibition at the Met and can be purchased in advance on Amazon.com

(Information in the post courtesy of Christie's Auction House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harper's Bazaar, BlouinArtInfo, and National Jeweler.)



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