Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Call: Van Cleef & Arpels

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


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Divine! These jewels are so amazing and I know that the close-up view is even more so. When I was little, my grandfather worked for Harry Winston (accounting, I think) and I would just dream about all of the incredible things you could see there.



That Art Deco bracelet is absolutely exquisite. I'd want to wear it every day too!

Paula said...

I think i would pick the same items--I just love deco. still works today.

Aesthetic Alterations said...

These are truly beautiful! I agree--I would wear that everyday if it were mine.

Terri said...

Even without seeing the exhibit, the bracelet is stunning. Excellent choice!

jill815 said...

Hi Genie, a grandfather that worked for Harry Winston! Wow! Did you ever get to go to the offices or the store?

jill815 said...

Hi Vahni, Paula, Catherine and Terri, I see we have a fondness for Art Deco jewelry in common, among all the other things.

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

How did you get to take photos?? I loved the exhibit but the Cooper Hewitt was not my most favorite museum. The guards were not very friendly and I was expecting more from the place.
I loved the art deco jewelry as was amazing some of this stuff was real. :)