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From September 20, 2012 to February 10, 2013, “Van Cleef & Arpels, l’Art de la Haute Joaillerie” invited visitors to discover more than a century of jewelry creation at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs. In this shrine to French craftsmanship and art de vivre, the exhibition illustrated the Maison’s consummate creativity with more than 500 pieces dating from the 1920s to the 2000s.
Featuring jewelry creations alongside a multitude of sketches and archival documents, all amid a decor designed by the Jouin Manku Agency, the itinerary offered a profusion of shapes and models to guide visitors through Van Cleef & Arpels’ varied sources of inspiration while highlighting its main technological innovations.
Pieces reflecting the geometric lines characteristic of the Art Deco movement gave way to jewelry from the 1940s and 1950s, inspired by motifs taken from the world of couture (bows, lace, tulle, passementerie), while the 1970s stood out for generous ensembles combining hard and precious stones in colorful harmony. The most iconic creations included the Zip necklace, created in 1950, as well as the Alhambra long necklace, a resounding success since 1968. The exhibition concluded with the Phénix Mystérieux necklace featuring Mystery SetTM rubies, designed specially for the occasion.