Russian jewelry, specifically Russian imperial jewelry,
is among the finest and most spectacularly sumptuous
in the world. Diamonds of unparalleled size fighting with each
other for attention are run-of-the-mill and Russian museums
are blessed with a cornucopia of riches for display. What is
missing, however, is jewelry that examines the industry's rapid
and oft-times irreverent evolution throughout the 20th
century. This exhibition, made possible through a loan from
the wide-ranging collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine
Arts, is setting out to put rights to that absence. As the title
suggests, the exhibition focuses on non-Russian jewelry
whose creation involves the use of silver and gold, but as the
140 pieces by over 80 artists show, traditional uses of these
precious metals provided restraints that have been overcome
to remarkable effect. From well-known names such as Cartier
and René Lalique to artists such as Picasso and Calder, on
to the work of more selectively recognized designers such
as Georges Schwartz and Barbara Paganin, the five-theme
show is a reflection of jewelry as a powerfully innovative force
throughout the greatest century the world has known.

The Hermitage
Gold and Silver Jewellery: The Transformation of a
Tradition in the Twentieth Century
April 3 through June 19, 2007
2, Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Dvortsovaya Square)
190000 St Petersburg
T. +7 812 710 96 25