Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels


I had the pleasure of visiting the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York on April 9th with a small group of highly appreciative viewers. You may wonder why a painter would do a website blog entry on jewelry.  But, by now, you are all probably aware that I love rocks, polished and unpolished!


In addition to my life long fascination with stones, I know that the VC&A show exhibits supreme examples of consistent and masterful design and creativity. The extensive collection of jewelry creations was literally stunning. The detailing of the pieces, the breadth of the gem types and treatments were jaw dropping. The craftsmen were inspired and there is no question in my mind that this is “art.” CLICK HERE TO VISIT OR READ MORE


Some of my favorite pieces were:

1.The diamond butterfly ring, crafted to look as though the sparkling pilot was perched on the wearers hand, positioned between two fingers.

  1. 2.The Japonais styled butterfly brooches were lyrical.
  2. 3.The collection of necessaires, Minaudieres, cigarette ad compact cases were fascinating to me as I have often looked for objects of this nature, having learned about them from the 1997 Metropolitain Museum of Art’s catelogue of the Cartier exhibition.  These boxes and creations were intended to hold some of the “necessary” items for society ladies on an evening out. The combination of form, jewels, workmanship and function is a great blend of jewelry and fine objects.


Go see the exhibit in New York and see what devotion to detail and creativity can produce! It isn’t any different from what should be done on canvas, through the camera lens or with any other art form: show your passion and make each element work with the main purpose of the piece.  Each line, shape and color should have meaning or a relationship within the image.