Home Art de vivreCulture Set in Style : The jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels @ Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum New York

Set in Style : The jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels @ Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum New York

by pascal iakovou
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Set in Style : The jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels : Une exposition présentée au CooperHewitt National Design Museum de New York du 18 février au 5 juin 2011

Cette exposition, organisée par Sarah Coffin, conservatrice du département Product Design and Decorative Arts, présente les principales créations  de Van Cleef & Arpels ayant marqué l’histoire du design du XXe siècle. Elle réunit plus de 300 pièces de joaillerie, horlogerie, accessoires de mode et objets d’art. Sont également exposés des livres de commandes spéciales, des pancartes de fabrication et de nombreuses archives de la Maison.

La scénographie originale de l’architecte et designer français Patrick Jouin invite le visiteur à une promenade onirique, célébrant six thèmes qui reflètent l’esprit  de Van Cleef & Arpels :

– Innovation avec notamment les plus belles réalisations du Serti Mystérieux, technique de sertissage révolutionnaire mise au point par la Maison en 1933,

– Transformation, mettant en scène des bijoux métamorphosables, tel le collier Zip,

– Nature, ou comment la Maison saisit ce prodigieux élan vital pour faire éclore des créations précieuses,

– Exotisme permettra de révéler de nombreux joyaux et objets d’art aux influences multiples où se mêlent des rêves d’Egypte, d’Inde, de Chine, du Japon…

– Couture, dentelles, noeuds, rubans … deviennent parures exquises,

– Célébrités, place aux histoires devenues légendes, Grace Kelly, Daisy Fellowes, Marlène Dietrich…

“Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels”

Since its opening on the Place Vendôme in Paris in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has played a leading role in style and design innovation. Its timeless pieces have been worn by style icons, including the Duchess of Windsor, Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor. This exhibition will explore the historical significance of the firm’s contributions to jewelry design in the 20th century, including the establishment of Van Cleef & Arpels in New York with the advent of World War II. On view will be more than 350 works, including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories and objets d’art by Van Cleef & Arpels, many of which were created exclusively for the American market. The exhibition will examine the work through the lenses of innovation, transformation, nature as inspiration, exoticism, fashion and personalities, and will include design drawings from the Van Cleef & Arpels archives.

Here is a private visite:

Jouin Manku Designs Installation for “Set in Style” Exhibition
French partners Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Jouin Manku studio designed a site-specific installation for the “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” exhibition, which draws on the domestic history of the 1902 Carnegie Mansion, home to the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The exhibition will be on view from Feb. 18 through June 5.

The original function of the historic spaces is highlighted through the studio’s design, which Jouin says pays special attention to the “memories of the past.” “It’s a house where people were living; they were having dinner; they were sleeping; they were receiving friends,” he said. “I thought it was interesting to reconnect the design of the exhibition with the history of the building, because Van Cleef & Arpels also has a long history.”

The designers’ intention to evoke the building’s past is clear in the dining room of the mansion. In a nod to the sumptuous dinners that the Carnegies’ held with world leaders, they chose an expansive and opulent dining table and set it with jewelry. The objects are presented under glass bubble encasements that accentuate and illuminate the finest details of each piece of jewelry. The shape and idea of the table are repeated in the music room, devoted to innovations, and in the breakfast room of the mansion in order to connect and link the different rooms of the exhibition.

The nature section features four 3-D holograms, which create full-color, virtual images of the jewelry within the case. The 3-D lenses surrounding the objects allow for 360-degree viewing of the jewelry and amplify the details and intricate craftsmanship of the work on view.

By recalling the history of the house in his design, Jouin Manku studio aims to emotionally connect the visitor to the work on view. “It is very important that the space allows the body and spirit of the visitor to see the beauty of the pieces,” Jouin said.

Adding to the visitor experience, music was commissioned by the young composer Nicolas Jaar to complement the exhibition design. Each room has a different piece, created in response to the room’s architecture, its original use and the themes of the exhibition. Jaar’s composition was inspired by a musical “promenade onirique” (dream walk), and is characterized by minimal, meditative melodies.

About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Founded in 1897, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.
The museum is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City.

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