Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York
18 February through 5 June, 2011
2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue, New York City
+1 212 849 8400

“Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” examines the renowned jewelry firm’s significant historical contributions to jewelry design and design innovation, particularly during the 20th century. Since its 1906 opening on the Place Vendôme in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels has played a leading role in style and design innovation. Pioneering techniques and designs, combined with an attention to craftsmanship, are at the core of Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry and small precious objects.

The exhibition features more than 300 works, including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories and objets d’art by Van Cleef & Arpels, many of which were created exclusively for American clientele, along with design drawings, commission books, fabrication cards and imagery from the firm’s archives.

“Set in Style” will be organized by six principal themes: Innovation (which explores the technical developments made by the house, such as the “mystery setting”), Transformation (multi-functional jewelry, such as the zip necklaces that zip up to become a bracelet, are a Van Cleef & Arpels signature), Nature (a permanent source of inspiration for its designers), Exoticism (which includes pieces commissioned by Indian maharajas), Fashion (accessories such as the Minaudière are a large part of their business) and Personalities (Princess Grace of Monaco is just one of the icons associated with the jeweler).