All That Glitters

The late writer Jerzy Kosinaki once said that, “the principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” That was exactly the feeling elicited during Robert Wilson’s recent show entitled Noah’s Ark, which completes a run in New York on November 19th after exhibits in Paris and Hong Kong. The biblical tale which has inspired painters for generations was reinterpreted through the jewelry of the famed house of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Wilson was inspired by a painting by Jan Brueghel now on display in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  Just to refresh your Sunday School memory, the ark was the ship that God told Noah to build in order to save his family and the world’s animals from a great flood. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all tell various versions of the Noah story.


The jewelry house and Wilson created 60 animal pins covered in precious gemstones down to the smallest detail and displayed them in a room where the periodic clap of thunder and sound of a downpour were the ever-present reminder of the story they were there to tell.  The result was breathtaking.



Here are some more of the incredible designs:

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Where you can create your jeweled masterpiece

If you are fascinated with techniques and craft of jewelry design, Van Cleef & Arpels runs the L’École des Arts Joailliers  or the School of Jewelry Arts in a renovated in an 18th century mansion  in Paris’ Place Vendôme, where you can learn about the history of jewelry or get inspired to make your own designs.  Can’t get to Paris any time soon?  There are also courses and lectures offered in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Dubai.  In addition there are interesting videos for jewelry fanatics (subtitled in English) on various subjects like the “History of Engagement Rings.”  Visit

Students working on their own designs in Paris


Categories: design, Jewelry, New York, paris, UncategorizedTags: , , , , , , ,

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