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February 18, 2011 – July 4, 2011
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY
Location: 1st Floor
Since its opening on the Place Vendome in Paris in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has played a leading role in style and design innovation. Its timeless pieces have been worn by style icons, including the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor. This exhibition explores the historical significance of the firm's contributions to jewelry design in the 20th century, including the establishment of Van Cleef & Arpels in New York with the advent of World War II. On view are more than 350 works, including jewels, timepieces, fashion accessories, and objects d'art by Van Cleef & Arpels, many of which were created exclusively for the American market. The exhibition examines the work through the lenses of innovation, transformation, nature as inspiration, exoticism, fashion, and celebrity and includes design drawings from the Van Cleef & Arpels archives.