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Art You Can Wear: Two New Exhibitions Explore the Link Between Jewelry and Design

Both New York's Salon Art + Design and a Cartier show in Paris study the artistry of making jewelry.

Cartier Necklace Cartier

Jewelry is often described as wearable art—but, really, why not just have both? That seems to be the thinking behind this year’s 10th anniversary of selling exhibition Salon Art + Design, at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory from November 11 through 15, which for the first time will showcase a sizable selection of fine jewelry alongside its blue-chip 20th-century art and some of the world’s best vintage, modern and contemporary designs.

Among the more than 50 leading art and design galleries, attendees will find jewelry firms Macklowe Gallery, Ornamentum Gallery, Didier Ltd. and Galerie Negropontes, along with Brazilian fine-jewelry designer Silvia Furmanovich, who is planning to debut a special installation of her latest design collection, including jewelry and home objets inspired by the natural landscape of the Amazon rainforest. Furmanovich collaborated with Brazilian artist Mestre André da Marinheira, whose wood sculptures will also be up for grabs.

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Silvia Furmanovich Earrings

Silvia Furmanovich earrings featured at Salon Art + Design.  Gutter Credits

Meanwhile, in Paris, a new exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs underscores Cartier’s connection to India, whose maharajas commissioned some of the house’s most extravagant 20th-century jewels. Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity, on display through Feb. 20, 2022, features more than 500 pieces of jewelry and precious objects, art, drawings, books, photographs and archival documents that tell the story of how Cartier found inspiration in the Islamic world. Co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, the exhibition will occupy galleries on two floors, with displays designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The first part of the exhibition explores the cultural backdrop of 1920s Paris, where Cartier’s interest in Islamic art took root. On display are jewels acquired by Jacques Cartier on his 1911 visit to India, plus books from Louis Cartier’s expansive Islamic art collection, reconstructed here for the first time.

Riboud ring

Riboud ring featured at Salon Art + Design.  Gutter Credits

The second half of the exhibition houses some 200 pieces of jewelry boasting recognizably Islamic patterns, silhouettes and forms, including a spectacular bib necklace of diamond, amethyst and turquoise commissioned in 1947 by the Duke of Windsor for the Duchess.

The show was brought together by Évelyne Possémé, chief curator of ancient and modern jewelry at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and Judith Hénon-Raynaud, curator and deputy director of the Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre. “The shapes and motifs from the Islamic lexicon within Cartier creations are sometimes obvious, but other times they’re more difficult to detect,” the pair wrote to Robb Report. “This source of inspiration is an essential part of the house’s creations, but one that has not been explored in depth until now.”

Claude Lalanne Jewelry

Claude Lalanne necklace and bracelet featured at Salon Art + Design.  Gutter Credits

The curators say they hope visitors will come away with a better understanding of the artistic process at a house like Cartier as well as of the Islamic world’s rich and fascinating legacy of decorative arts.

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