2012: a retrospective into the heart of Van Cleef & Arpels’ style with “Van Cleef & Arpels, Timeless Beauty” in Shanghai

From May 20 to July 15, 2012, the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art – MOCA Shanghai – hosted the retrospective “Van Cleef & Arpels, Timeless Beauty,” on display for the first time in China. Spanning more than 100 years of the Maison’s history, the exhibition featured more than 370 jewelry pieces, watches, precious accessories and objets d’art from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection and private collections, as well as sketches and archival documents. 

Amid an idyllic decor designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, the creations were on view over two levels totaling 1,200 m² (13,000 sq. ft.), illustrating four distinct themes: Exoticism, Nature, Elegance and Femininity. This immersion in to the heart of the Van Cleef & Arpels style was an opportunity to discover the consummate savoir-faire perpetuated by several generations of Mains d’OrTM, as well as the magic of Pierres de Caractère, rare gems that kindle unique emotions. From one room to the next, visitors explored the stories and inspirations behind select pieces that have achieved mythical status, such as the Chrysanthemum clip from 1937, the 1934 Minaudière Rayonnante and the Zip necklace, created in 1950. Extending from iconic jewels to the celebrities who contributed to the Maison’s renown, “Timeless Beauty” highlighted the richness of an enduring legacy and the ever-evolving creativity of Van Cleef & Arpels.