Joslyn Art Museum
2200 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68102-1292
Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris
Until 10th September 2017
Throughout history, jewelry has served both functional and decorative purposes, reflecting not only the patron’s particular values and interests, but also the social, political, and economic circumstances of the time and place of its creation. In France, Paris has long been considered a center of innovation in fashion, the visual arts, and jewelry production. Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris charts the course of jewelry design in France over four centuries, tracking the country’s evolving jewelry aesthetic as it responded to historical events and art historical movements. The exhibition also tells the story of dozens of talented artists, designers, and entrepreneurs, who created extraordinary works of art using the most precious materials on earth. Drawn from the exceptional holdings of the Petit Palais, Paris, with generous contributions from lenders, the exhibition features nearly seventy pieces of fine jewelry and objet d’art, over one hundred technical and creative design drawings, and numerous fashion prints that demonstrate the relationship between jewelry and fashion. A unique experience at Joslyn, Bijoux Parisiens offers an impressive platform for discovering the history of French taste and the enduring elegance of Paris.
The objects presented in Bijoux Parisiens reveal the wealth and social fabric of France as the country’s shifting tastes and ever-changing political situations, from the reign of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715) to World War II, impacted how jewelry was worn and by whom. Necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and brooches made with precious and semi-precious materials like platinum, gold, diamonds, and gemstones reflect both the wearer’s position in society and the designer’s creativity and skill. Many artistic styles are shown together, including the severe aesthetic of Neoclassicism, the natural forms of Art Nouveau, and the sleek, geometric lines of Art Deco, demonstrating how Parisian preferences changed over time. Design drawings also show the endless imagination of artists and entrepreneurs, who first designed for the aristocracy and later for the famous jewelry maisons of Paris; Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others, remain international brands with lasting appeal to this day. Expressing the age in which they were made, the unique and compelling objects in Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris will delight the senses and inspire the imagination.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm; late until 8 pm on Thursday. Closed Mondays
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