Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cooper-Hewitt Van Cleef & Arpels Exhibit


I went to the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Design museum in New York today.  The exhibit contained a surprisingly large sample of Van Cleef jewelry including some famous pieces worn by some equally famous individuals. 

The pendant of the bird, shown above, in my opinion, was the most spectacular piece.  The 95 carat yellow diamond was just magnificent.  The wings can be detached  and used as earrings, the tail can be used as a brooch and the pendant can be worn separately. Quite economical for  what would no doubt be a ridiculously expensive piece. 

As part of the entrance price, you are given an iPad with which to walk around.  The iPad has some videos about the jewelry and also some information on some of the pieces. 

The art deco pieces from the 1920s and early 1930s stood out overall.  Some of the later pieces had a “more-of-the-same” feeling to them.  There is no doubt that the Van Cleef house has excellent talent, but the best and most creative pieces are really the older ones.

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