“Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” Sets Attendance Record

July 6, 2011
News Release

The “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” exhibition attracted a record-breaking 172,000 visitors during its 20-week run at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. On view from Feb. 18 through July 4, visitation to “Set in Style” exceeded the previous exhibition attendance record holder, “Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006.”

“Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” examined the renowned jewelry firm’s significant historical contributions to jewelry design and design innovation, particularly during the 20th century. Organized by Sarah Coffin, curator and head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department, the exhibition featured more than 350 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.

“The ‘Set in Style’ exhibition shattered previous attendance records and brought multiple new audiences to Cooper-Hewitt,” said Associate Director Caroline Baumann. “We hope to continue this exciting momentum as we present exhibitions and programs off-site during the renovation.”

The exhibition galleries at Cooper-Hewitt are now closed as it embarks on $64 million capital project that includes enlarged and enhanced facilities for exhibitions, collections display, education programming and the National Design Library, and an increased endowment. When the museum reopens in 2013, gallery space will increase by 60 percent. During the renovation, Cooper-Hewitt’s usual schedule of exhibitions, education programs and events will be staged at various off-site locations, including “Design with the Other 90%: Cities,” on view at the United Nations Oct. 15 through Jan. 9, 2012. Visitors can continue to enjoy the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden and the Shop at Cooper-Hewitt, which will remain open this summer without an admission fee.

“Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” is made possible by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Additional support is provided by Sofitel Luxury Hotels.

Media sponsorship is provided by New York magazine.

About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.

The museum is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Effective July 5, hours for the Shop and Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Public transit routes include the 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations) and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. For further information, call (212) 849-8400 or visit http://www.cooperhewitt.org. The museum is fully accessible.   

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