L’ÉCOLE, SCHOOL OF JEWELRY ARTS
INSIDE A GLITTERING WORLD OF GEMS
Headquartered at Place Vendôme in Paris, L’École des Arts Joailliers (supported by Van Cleef & Arpels) has taken up temporary residence at the Frederick Sterner-designed Ziegler House (2 East 63rd Street) from which to welcome New Yorkers into the sparkling world of jewelry. Here, L’École has assembled a roster of master jewelers, gemologists, craftsmen, artists, art historians, and industry leaders for a series of talks, classes, and exhibitions (ongoing until November 9, 2018) illuminating jewelry’s unique place at the very intersection of design, fashion, craft, society, commerce, science and math. Within the baronial expanse of the first floor are the exhibition spaces, while on the upper floors are makeshift “classrooms” for courses on gemstones, history, technique, and even workshops for children and teens.
Must-sees are L’ecole’s three open-to-the-public exhibitions: “Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur”, a curated selection of pieces (circa 19th century-1960s) on loan from a private New York collection; “Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks”, an array of chokers and cuff bracelets (along with some paintings and one-of-a-kind objets) by the American artist Daniel Brush; and “The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King”, twenty exquisite recreations of now mostly lost diamonds that 17th century merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier had previously sold to Louis XIV. The precious stones on show were meticulous replicated, with assistance from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, from details contained in the book Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1676). And surely, even those who possess little more than a nodding acquaintance with gems must have heard of the Tavernier Blue, which has was cut into Le bleu de France then recut into the now infamous and allegedly cursed Hope Diamond (presently on display at the Smithsonian).
Furthering scholarship and appreciation of jewelry are eight panel discussions and receptions featuring distinguished experts including Van Cleef & Arpels’ CEO and artistic director Nicolas Bos, Town & Country’s Stellene Volandes, MET curator Beth Carver Wees, Sotheby’s Frank Everett, curator, author and Yale Center for British Art scholar Glenn Adamson, journalist and author Spencer Bailey, and Van Cleef & Arpels Asia Pacific president and CEO, and director of the “Héritage” collection Nicolas Luchsinger. Find schedules and more information at us.lecolevancleefarpels.com
Images courtesy of L’ECOLE School of Jewelry Arts