Do you like the jewelry? If you are a woman who really likes and enjoys making yourself up, the answer must be “Yes.” However, you cannot usually see exhibitions related to jewelry in , but only to painting or sculpture. For those of you who are interested in jewelry but had no chance to see it, the Sookmyung Times introduces the exhibition, the Art of Cartier, which reveals the long history of jewelry art, various styles of jewelry, and the process of making jewelry.
The exhibition includes four galleries: The Birth of Style, A Universal Curiosity, Styling Women of Power, and Archives & Workshop. Each of them exhibits similar kinds of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, brooches, clocks, and ornaments but you can feel different styles and designs in each section. In the first gallery, you can see the beginning of Cartier which was started by Louis-Francois Cartier (1819 – 1904), a jeweler in
Paris in 1847. He worked with other craftsmen in workshops, and the French imperial family liked their creations. Due to their workmanship and beautiful design, Cartier became popular in jewelry art. In this section, you can see the initial products of Cartier.
In the second gallery, you can see quite different and unique jewelry designs, because Cartier, which had usually produced European-designed jewelry, turned its attention to the rest of the world, so Egyptian, Middle Eastern and East Asian culture influenced its jewelry design. For example, Cartier used sapphires and emeralds, or green and blue colors together in its jewelry which had been considered as not in good harmony but were generally used in Islamic culture. Also, there were brooches decorated with images of Isis and gold beetles which were influenced by , and Tutti-Frutti-style necklaces which were influenced by . After you see this section, you may be surprised at the design which shows there was also cultural exchange in those days, and it greatly affected Cartier’s work.
In the third gallery, you can see how 20th century jewelry design changed as women’s roles and fashion changed. Especially, long wavy hair styles and curved dresses following the curves of women’s bodies became popular in the 1930s, so, at that time, jewelry design became much feminine than before. The last gallery shows you how artisans at Cartier make jewelry. Several processes are needed to make one product. If you are someone who just sees the beauty of jewelry, you have to know about the processes which take a minimum of several months to create each piece of jewelry. Its beauty comes from not only its appearance but the artisans’ sophisticated and accurate skills and effort. How about feeling their passion which started in 1847 at the exhibition, The Art of Cartier?
Museum of Art, Deoksugung
* April 22, 2008 – July 13, 2008