Talk about heaven on earth! Recently, I had the good fortune to experience an exceptionally beautiful exhibit that’s currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.
Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry will continue at the MFA through November 9, 2008. The exhibition features a spectacular array of 120 pieces of exquisitely made jewelry by the premier designers and artists of the late nineteenth/early twentieth-centuries in a style that has been dubbed “Art Nouveau”, which is celebrated for its graceful, flowing curves and themes inspired by nature – the flora, fauna, and the sensuality of the female figure.
This incredible assemblage of mouth-watering beauty will amaze you with dazzling dragonfly brooches, fabulous floral pendants, breath-taking butterflies, trés chic chokers, unique belt buckles, baroque pearl delights, and even elegant hair accessories. The detail and dimension on each piece is superb, and the jewelry has been so expertly crafted that it’s almost as beautiful on the reverse side as on the front! I was especially taken with the color palette, which is wonderfully rich – yet soft in intensity, rather like the glow of an Impressionist painting.
The collection highlights the work of designers such as René Lalique (1860–1945), who was the most renowned of the Art Nouveau artists. His pieces are strikingly bold and they incorporate unusual materials such as horn, enamel, and glass. The color on these pieces was often achieved through the use of enamel, and plique à jour (open to light) enameling was a favored technique. It added a delicacy and a measure of technical refinement that had not been seen in jewelry design, prior to this period. Although Lalique went on to become famous for his artistry with glass, this earlier work is breathtaking and it highlights not only his skill but also his versatility.
The MFA has done a remarkable job of arranging these treasures in an exhibit that gives each piece its due, with well-lit showcases, informative descriptions, and a gallery space that is open, airy and easy to navigate. Those with a passion for jewelry or lovers of art in general will be equally enchanted!
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines. This is an exhibit that’s NOT to be missed!!!
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Art Nouveau Jewelry
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 – Sunday, November 9, 2008
Photos courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts Boston