Paris Exhibition to Focus on Art Nouveau and Beyond

On June 2, Van Cleef & Arpels will be unveiledA New Art: The Metamorphosis of Jewelry, 1880-1914“An exhibition in Paris focused on nearly 100 objects from the Art Nouveau period, many of which were designed by the era’s leading craftsmen, such as René Lalique, Georges Fouquet and Henri Vever.

Liz Macdonald said, “Art Nouveau is a subject that we haven’t covered in our exhibitions in the past, and when we program our shows we always look at different angles, different times and different cultures. let’s try.” , President of Brand’s L’École, School of Jewelery Arts. His most recent show featured gold jewelry from China spanning several centuries.

Reservations can be made. School website The free exhibition will be held in L’École’s 18th-century building near Place Vendôme until September 30 (with a break from August 5 to 21). Most of the exhibits on loan from brands and institutions like the Musée d’Orsay feature typical Art Nouveau details: curves, precious materials and a combination of common objects like glass and pewter, and imagery inspired by nature or fantasy.

But this movement, which peaked in the 1890s to 1910s, was not limited to jewelry. “The vision of Art Nouveau was that all the arts were influenced by it,” said Paul Paradis, a teacher at L’École who worked on the exhibition. “It was a complete design concept, from the ceiling to the floor to the door handles.”

None of the jewelry — including a necklace in gold, enamel, glass and platinum with pendants hanging around the women’s legs to resemble vivid green and cobalt butterfly wings — was made by Van Cleef, who opened its first store in 1906 on Place Vendome. .

“The mandate of the school is not to focus on Van Cleef & Arpels,” Ms. Macdonald said; It means “to talk to a large audience about the history of jewelry, its knowledge and gems.” During the period represented in the exhibition, Van Cleef was “focusing more on analysis and harmony and the Art Deco trend.”

Joanna Hardy, a London-based fine jewelry expert who is not affiliated with the school, said L’École is more concerned with education than marketing. “Just because they haven’t done it, doesn’t mean they won’t show it,” he said.

After all, the show’s theme reinforces the brand’s positioning.

Van Cleef is “trying to use Nouveau to say, ‘We’re about craftsmanship — it’s not just about the gold or diamonds you buy,'” said Akshay Madane, a partner at management consulting firm Kearney. Is,'”.

Other luxury brands have used museum sponsorships and exhibitions to sell similar stories, he said. “They’re trying to educate and inspire, and they’re doing it in a subtle way so as not to come across as salesy, because that’s not what these brands are about. “

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