Introduction text from the Galliera Exhibition catalogue by Jacques Arpels, President of Van Cleef & Arpels:
Over 20 years ago, I set out to bring together the most beautiful creations of Van Cleef & Arpels.
I did so with the patience and passion of a collector. As time goes by, these jewels bear precious witness to the talent and the art of our designers and jewelers, as they do to those of all my elders.
Even now, I confess to deriving unique sensations and rare pleasure from this quest. Holding such and such a brooch in my hands brings back the memory of seeing it as a preliminary sketch or mock-up, 30 years ago. At the sight of certain jewels, I can picture them flashing with life on the hands, the wrists, or the necks of princesses and artists, lighting up their faces.
Galliera set, 1992, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection
Drawing of Galliera necklace, 1992, Van Cleef & Arpels' Archives
Drawing of Galliera earring, 1992, Van Cleef & Arpels' Archives
Galleria ring, 1992, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection
Today, I am proud to be able to present a collection which includes over 350 pieces. From the 1920s to the present day, they retrace the evolution of the Van Cleef & Arpels’ style: a style founded on classicism and audacity.
This varied collection will go on show at the Palais Galliera in the summer of 1992. A "Galliera" set, created specially for the occasion, will feature in the place of honor. The tranquil atmosphere and majestic, yet discrete architecture of the Palais make it the perfect jewel box for the creations of Van Cleef & Arpels. The harmony which exists between the sumptuous jewels and their magical surroundings is, it seems to me, like that evoked by the poet:
"There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure."
Jacques Arpels, 1992