Beginning this Sunday, November 16, and running until march 15, 2015, the Denver Art Museum will be the sole worldwide venue for 250 dazzling jewels and watches of Cartier in an exhibition entitled: Brilliant, Cartier in the 20th Century.
The exhibition features jewelry, timepieces and precious objects produced between 1900 and 1975, and depicts Cartier’s rise to preeminence in the midst of historical events that include the era of the Czars of Russia, to the Roaring Twenties in America and more — as the transformed itself into one of the world’s most prestigious names in luxury goods.
The exhibition includes a special section focused on items made exclusively for men, including the modern wristwatch. In 1900, Paris-based jewelry firm, Cartier, was poised at the brink of a new era—attracting aristocracy from all of Europe. By 1909, when Cartier opened its New York branch; Americans such as J. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family became loyal clientele. Indeed, over the past century, the brand’s customer list reads as a virtual who’s who of the 20th century.
The incredible exhibition reflecting Cartier’s work will feature a special section focused on items Cartier crafted especially for men, including the modern wristwatch, elegant and complex pocket watches, cuff links, pocket items, cocktail and desk accessories, and inscribed cigarette cases, to name a few. Other exhibition themes include: Aristocracy and Aspiration: Focusing on objects in diamond, sapphire, rock crystal, pearl and enamel. Circa 1900-1918; Art Deco: New Outlook and a subsequent segment: Art Deco: Foreign Fascination. Cartier was a leader in the innovative Art Deco movement of the 1910s to 1920s that highlighted a bold look with a new emphasis on color and geometry. The Maison utilized new materials in this era including jade, coral and black onyx. In Post World War 1 mode, Cartier created stunning interpretations of international events.
Moving forward in time, the exhibit highlights Cartier’s Age of Glamour and its Icons of Style – including pieces for the brand’s most famous clients: Daisy Fellowes, Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Barbara Hutton, Elizabeth Taylor and Mexican film star María Félix. Cartier’s original designs were essential to the self- expression of the individuals who shaped 20th century culture and fashion.
Drawings are displayed alongside historic photos and other collateral material — all setting the cultural stage for the Cartier pieces. In addition to items loaned by the Cartier Collection, the exhibition will include loans from museums and private collections in the United States and Europe.
The breadth and scope of this exhibit, organized by the Denver Art Museum and curated by Margaret Young-Sánchez, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator at the museum, is a once-in-a-lifetime must-see.