Three Leaves brooch. Paris, France, 1966. Rubies, diamonds, platinum.
This Monday, July 4, marks the final day to view Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The museum will be open on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, even better, admission is free that day. I can’t imagine a more glamorous way to spend what is supposed to be a hot and humid Independence Day than in the air-conditioned Cooper-Hewitt admiring these sparklers before watching the fiery ones that explode over the East River that night.
July 4 also marks the last day to visit the Cooper-Hewitt for two years while it undergoes a renovation to increase exhibition space in the glorious Carnegie Mansion. It’s so old New York in there, I feel like I’m in an Edith Wharton novel when I walk down that dark-paneled staircase. The House of Mirth, perhaps?
Mystery-Set Flower brooch. Paris, France, 1986. Rubies, diamonds, platinum.
Chestnut Leaf brooch. Paris, France, 1952. Sapphires, diamonds, platinum.
If I could pick any two items to own from the stupendous things on display they would be:
Art Deco Nécessaire. Paris, France, 1928. Blue, black and white enamel, sculpted lapis lazuli, rose- and baguette-cut diamonds, gold.
Art Deco bracelet. Paris, France, 1925. Sapphires, diamonds, platinum. Formerly owned by the Duchess of Marlborough (née Consuelo Vanderbilt).
I would want to wear this every single day.
The Cooper-Hewitt gift shop and the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden will remain open this summer, both free of charge. The Cooper-Hewitt is scheduled to reopen in 2013.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
2 E. 91st Street (at Fifth Avenue)
New York NY 10128