The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950-1990 opened this month at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, featuring 150 specially selected jewelry designs that reflect the brand’s defining era. During the 40-year period, the Italian jewelry house forged contemporary designs using a mix of big, bold, colorful gemstones and chunky gold. From the Roman-coin pieces to the snake ones, many of these early themes defined a pivotal period in Italian design.
In addition to jewelry, the exhibition includes sketches, photographs, and other archival materials to help explore the cultural contexts of the pieces. Celebrity clients including Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Ingrid Bergman helped bring the Bulgari name to the forefront of style during the era, and some pieces and images of their jewelry is included in the exhibition. It runs through February 17, 2014. (415.750.3600, www.deyoungmuseum.org)