The Camargo Brooch, made in 1942, combines platinum, diamonds, rubies and emeralds for a classic Van Cleef & Arpels ballet design. The painting above of Marie Camargo, La Camargo Dancing, was created around 1730 by Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) and can be seen in the Andrew W. Mellon Collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC., and another verson can be found at the Wallace Collection in London.
Since its opening on the Place Vendome 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, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor.
This exhibition, now extended until July 4, explores the historical significance of the firm’s contributions to jewellery design in the 20th century, including the establishment of Van Cleef & Arpels in New York with the advent of World War II. On view are more than 350 works, including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories, and objects d’art by Van Cleef & Arpels, many of which were created exclusively for the American market. The exhibition examines the work through the lenses of innovation, transformation, nature as inspiration, exoticism, fashion, and celebrity and includes design drawings from the Van Cleef & Arpels archives.
Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels
February 18, 2011 – July 4, 2011 (new closing date)
Museum: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Smithsonian