Thursday, December 19, 2013

Museum Exhibits - Sparkling Holiday Outings!

Post by Patricia Syvrud

The holidays are upon us (How did that happen??!!) and in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, shopping, eating, and annual family antics, one searches for moments of calm serenity.  What better escape, with or without friends and family, than one of the wonderful jewelry exhibits currently running at a number of museums across the country? 

We highlight some of the more interesting jewelry exhibitions below.  From New York to California, if you're looking for an outing to sooth the senses, look no further. All exhibits run at least through February, 2014. (Photo credit to each museum, unless otherwise noted.)

GIA Museum
5345 Armada Dr., Carlsbad, CA
"More is More: Tony Duquette-Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry"
Through March, 2014
"Tony Duquette, a multifaceted movie and interior designer, also created bold and theatrical jewelry pieces with Hutton Wilkinson, his business partner and design collaborator for more than 30 years. Their designs were inspired by Duquette’s notable work as a costume and set designer during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Duchess of Windsor was so taken with Duquette’s jewelry when his collection was displayed in 1951 at the Louvre in Paris, she commissioned him to make a necklace for her. Although Duquette passed away in 1999, Wilkinson continues to create jewelry and interior designs in the aesthetic he developed with him. “If it’s not fabulous, it’s meaningless,” he says."
(Exhibit description, courtesy of

Multi-stone bracelet
 Photo credit: Orasa Weldon
"Petal Dance" earrings
"Pond Scum" necklace
"Solar Motive" brooch
"Starry Lagoon" ring
"Sunburst Monstrance" brooch
The Bowers Museum
2002 North Main St, Santa Ana, CA
"A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels"
Through February 15, 2014

"Spanning over 100 years of history, the exhibition will allow visitors to view jewelry, watches, and precious accessories, as well as archival drawings and documents of the Place Vendôme High Jewelry Maison.  Visitors will go on a journey built around four themes that continue to inspire the Maison: Nature, Elegance, Exoticism, and Femininity.  From iconic pieces to the legendary women who wore them and contributed to the reputation of the Maison, “A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels” highlights the enduring legacy and constantly renewed creativity of the Maison."
(Exhibit description courtesy of The Bowers Museum)

"Dragon" clip
"Cambodian Inspiration" bracelet


"Pastilles" Mystery set clip


The Forbes Galleries
62 Fifth Ave, New York, NY
"Variations on a Theme: 25 Years of Design from the AJDC"
"The American Jewelry Design Council is a non-profit educational corporation who endeavor to educate and promote the awareness of jewelry as an art. The goal of the American Jewelry Design Council was to gain recognition for American design talent. AJDC members were to become mentors to new designers, selecting only designers of original and distinctive work through a screening process. Integrity of design is a guiding force for the group and the AJDC does not bend its’ principles for commercial purposes. Annually, each member of the group creates a Design Project where each designer interprets a single concept or theme. The final product is a collection of unique jewelry pieces joined by a solitary concept. On view in this exhibition is a selection of Design Projects from the very first, in 1996 to the most recent, in 2013."
(Exhibit description courtesy of The Forbes Galleries)

"Explosion" by Michael Good

"Frozen in Time" by Alan Revere

"Ice" by Cornelia Goldsmith

"Rainy Day in Paris" by John Iverson

"Explosion" by Christo Kiffer

"Ice" by Mark Schneider

deYoung Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco, CA
"The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950 - 1990"
"Since its founding in Rome in 1884, Bulgari has become synonymous with innovation and luxury in jewelry design. The jeweler is famous for mixing semiprecious stones with diamonds, mounting ancient coins in gold jewelry, and creating easy-to-wear pieces made with unusual color combinations.

This exhibition focuses on the decades of the 1950s through the 1980s; in the period after World War II Bulgari began to create a unique style inspired by Greco-Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and the 19th-century Roman school of goldsmiths. By the 1970s, Bulgari’s bold and innovative style had gained success with celebrities and the jet set.

The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 presents approximately 150 showstopping pieces from this era, along with sketches and other materials from the Bulgari archives. The exhibition takes a decade-by-decade look at Bulgari’s innovations in jewelry design and includes several striking pieces from the Elizabeth Taylor collection."
(Exhibit description courtesy of deYoung Fine Arts Museums)

Diamond bracelets, formerly in the collection of Ellen Barkin
Emerald and diamond necklace, formerly in the collection of Elizabeth Taylor
Sapphire and diamond Sautoir, 1969

Table clock
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave, New York, NY
"Gilded New York"
"The Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a time of unprecedented wealth and extravagance, when New York City’s elite poured money into beautiful costumes, jewelry, furnishings, and artwork to fill their luxurious mansions and show off at lavish balls and dinner parties. Join curator Jeannine Falino for a tour exploring the visual culture of New York’s Gilded Age elite, and that culture’s far-reaching influence on American art and design—and ultimately on the city and the nation’s changing identity."
(Exhibit description courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York)
Tiffany necklace

Tiffany pendant/brooch

Marcus & Co. necklace

Tiffany brooch

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ
"Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection"
Through April 20, 2014

"When former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright vocally opposed Sadaam Hussein's unwillingness to compy with UN inspections, government-owned Iraqi newspapers caller her an "unparalleled serprent."  When Secretary Albright was next scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials, she reached into her jewelry box and selected a gold pin featuring a serpent coinled around a branch, and the legend began.  Throughout her career as UN Ambassador and Secretary of State under the Clinton Administration, Secretary Albright used the colorful, attention-grabbing pins she had amassed to quietly communicate volumes.

Now, that incredible collection of pins, including antiques and fine jewelry pieces alongside costume jewelry by unknown designers, will make its way to Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition, which first premiered at New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design, features more than 200 pins, each selected by Secretary Albright to communicate a message or a mood during and after her diplomatic tenure. From fish to flags, jewel-encrusted hearts to pins honoring suffragettes, this collection reflects the unique style and brilliant personality of a woman who learned to leverage every avenue of communication in the fine art of diplomacy."
(Exhibit description courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum)


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