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Displaying items by tag: Jewelry

Museums and jewelry enthusiasts are no strangers to Cartier’s greatest bijoux creations, but now, a different sort of show lends insight into one of the house’s greatest American clients and collectors, Marjorie Merriweather Post, once the wealthiest woman in the United States.

Founder of General Foods Inc., Post was a socialite and art collector who in 1973 left her estate with a sizable and exquisite French and Russian art collection featuring the work of Fabergé, Sèvres porcelain, French furniture, tapestries, and numerous paintings. But it is her collection of precious jewels, frames and objets d’art that she amassed from the Parisian jeweler that is on exhibition in “Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems” at her former home, the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C., until December 31.

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From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith features 26 pieces including silver and gold jewelry created by African American artist, Art Smith, as well as select pieces by his contemporaries. Inspired by surrealism, biomorphism, and primitivism, Smith was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century. His work is dynamic in both size and form.

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Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on 27 May in Hong Kong showed some disappointing results, with only 81% of the 300 lots on offer sold with a 73% sell-through value.

While the combined sales had a pre-auction estimate of over US$100 million, the bids fell short at only $91,851,200, with the top lot, a rare Golconda diamond pendant necklace named The Eye of Golconda, remaining unsold. A 9.38 carat pear-shaped fancy intense pink diamond fared better, selling for $5.96 million (or $636,117 per carats), at the low end of its estimate though.

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The roster of small jewelry workshops in Manhattan’s diamond district keeps shrinking, but at least one company that’s winding down is preserving the history of its designs. After six decades of making jewelry at various addresses in the West 40s, Henry Dankner & Sons is closing and donating its paperwork and molds to the jewelry design department at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

If not for that gift, the family’s story of escaping the Nazis in Hungary and winning renown in New York for their gold mechanical charms (with moving parts) would be largely forgotten.

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After successful stints in Oslo and Tokyo, “Norwegian Icons: Important Norwegian Design” is on view in New York City. The exhibition, which is currently taking place at the Openhouse Gallery in SoHo, explores Norway’s contributions to mid-century Scandinavian design. The show includes high-end decorative arts and furniture created between 1940 and 1975 as well as works by Norwegian artists, including Edvard Munch.

Mid-century Scandinavian design is well-known for its clean, simple lines and high functionality. However, there is often little distinction made between the contributions made by each country. While most design enthusiasts are familiar with Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair (Denmark) and Maija Isola’s bold, colorful textiles for Marimekko (Finland), Norway’s contributions to mid-century design often fly under the radar. Organized by Blomqvist, an Oslo-based auction house, and Fuglen, a Norwegian cafe/bar/vintage design shop, “Norwegian Icons” aims to educate the public about Norway’s contributions to Scandinavian design, including Hans Brattrud’s development of Alvar Aalto’s wood-bending technique and Sven Ivar Dysthe’s flat-packed, ready-to-ship furniture.

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On Thursday, May 22, “Tara Donovan: Untitled” opened at Pace Gallery’s pop-up in Menlo Park, California. It will be the final exhibition held at the Gallery’s temporary West Coast location. Prior to the Tara Donovan show, Pace presented an exhibition of stabiles, bronzes, standing and hanging mobiles, colorful gouaches, and wearable jewelry by Alexander Calder. Pace, which specializes in contemporary art, has permanent spaces in New York, London, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

“Untitled” surveys work by the Brooklyn-based artist Tara Donovan from 2000 to the present. Donovan is best known for her large-scale installations and sculptures made from manufactured materials, such as Scotch tape, Styrofoam cups, paper plates, toothpicks, and plastic drinking straws. Donovan creates her process-driven works by repeatedly layering a single material until an everyday object is transformed into a complex, otherworldly work of art. Donovan also plays with perceptual phenomenon through light and scale, using a variety of materials and three-dimensional forms to create captivating optical effects.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:09

René Lalique Exhibit Opens in France

From the rivers and lakes of his childhood in the Champagne region to the pond at Clairefontaine, his estate near Paris, French jeweler and glassmaker René Lalique (1860-1945) was inspired by the flora and fauna underwater and skimming the surface—fish, sea horses, dragonflies, frogs, turtles, swans, water lilies—and by the shimmering water itself.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has announced plans for a major renovation of its Lila Acheson Wallace Wing. Completed in 1987, the Wing houses the museum’s Modern and contemporary collection, which includes works by the circle of early American modernists around Alfred Stieglitz, including Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O'Keeffe, and John Marin; large-scale paintings by Abstract Expressionists, such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko; and modern design, from Josef Hoffmann and members of the Wiener Werkstätte to Art Nouveau jewelry by René Lalique.

The Met, which is the largest art museum in the United States, is in the midst of re-evaluating its layout, and addressing the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing’s shortcomings is a top priority. As it stands, the Wing does not allow for a chronological presentation of the museum’s collection, creating a disjointed visitor experience. To remedy the issue, The Met plans to rebuild the Wing, potentially from scratch. Enhanced exhibition space will also allow the museum to better display its Modern and contemporary art holdings, which got a considerable upgrade last spring when philanthropist and cosmetics mogul Leonard A. Lauder donated 79 Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

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Since Swatch Group purchased Harry Winston in January 2013, it hasn’t revealed much about its plans for the luxury retail brand. However, one thing it has openly done is keep with the Harry Winston tradition of flamboyant purchases of statement diamonds and gems.

On Wednesday, Harry Winston purchased the largest known flawless vivid blue diamond in the world for nearly $23.8 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale. The nearly $1,800,000 per carat price paid for the 13.22-carat diamond represents a world record for a blue diamond.

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There is an air of frenetic activity in and around the glassy headquarters of Paris’s Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art. Heavy trucks are delivering strange and hefty packages to the door. Inside the gallery, a giant black question mark is suspended in the air, next to a sleek aircraft that looks like it has made a day trip from the next century. Why are we here, the first work seems to ask? Whatever, I can get us out super-quickly, replies the second. Existential questions get short shrift in the hyper-velocity of today’s contemporary art scene.

The atmosphere is frisky: a birthday is being celebrated. It was 30 years ago that the foundation opened its doors to the public for the first time. It was immediately, and notably, successful. The popular appeal of contemporary art may be a cliché of today’s cultural landscape but it was not so straightforward in 1984. “It was a very different world,” says Alain Dominique Perrin, then-president of the renowned jeweller Cartier International, who masterminded the project.

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