Paris Exhibition to Focus on Art Nouveau and Beyond

On June 2, Van Cleef & Arpels is to unveil “A New Art: Metamorphoses of Jewelry, 1880-1914,” an exhibition in Paris focusing on virtually 100 objects from a interval that included the Art Nouveau period, many designed by the foremost artisans of the age, like René Lalique, Georges Fouquet and Henri Vever.

“Art Nouveau is a topic that we had not covered in the past in our exhibitions, and we do, when we program our shows, always try to look at different angles, different time periods, as well as different cultures,” mentioned Lise Macdonald, the president of the model’s L’École, School of Jewelry Arts. Its most up-to-date present featured gold ornaments from China over a number of centuries.

Reservations might be made on the school’s website for the free exhibition, to be held in L’École’s 18th-century constructing close to Place Vendôme via Sept. 30 (with a hiatus from Aug. 5-21). Most of the displays, on mortgage from manufacturers and establishments just like the Musée d’Orsay, have distinctively Art Nouveau particulars: curving traces, a mix of valuable supplies and commonplace ones like glass and pewter, and imagery impressed by nature or fantasy.

But the motion, which had its heyday from about 1890 to 1910, was not restricted to jewellery. “The vision of Art Nouveau was that all of the arts are touched by it,” mentioned Paul Paradis, a trainer at L’École who labored on the exhibition. “It was a total design concept, from the ceiling to the floor to the door handles.”

None of the jewellery — together with a Lalique necklace in gold, enamel, glass and platinum with dangling pendants that resemble girls with vivid inexperienced and cobalt butterfly wings round their legs — was made by Van Cleef, which opened its first retailer in 1906 on Place Vendôme.

“The mandate of the school is not to focus on Van Cleef & Arpels,” Ms. Macdonald mentioned; it’s meant “to speak to the larger audience on the history of jewelry, on its know-how and on gemology.” During the interval represented within the exhibition, Van Cleef was focusing extra “on abstractions and symmetry and the trend of Art Deco.”

Joanna Hardy, a superb jewellery specialist primarily based in London who isn’t affiliated with the college, mentioned L’École is extra involved with training than it’s with advertising and marketing. “Just because they didn’t make it, doesn’t mean to say they wouldn’t show it,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, the present’s theme appears to reinforce the model’s positioning.

Van Cleef is “trying to use Nouveau to say, ‘We are about craftsmanship — it’s not just about the gold you buy or the diamonds you buy,’” mentioned Akshay Madane, a companion on the administration consulting agency Kearney.

Other luxurious manufacturers have used museum sponsorships and exhibitions to promote comparable tales, he mentioned. “They’re trying to educate and inspire, and they’re doing it slowly in a subtle way so as not to come across as sales-y, because that’s not what these brands are about.”

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