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“Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems” explored both the artistic skills required for the creation of exquisite jewelry, and the natural processes involved in the formation of minerals and gemstones. Presented from April 23 to August 14, 2016 at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum – devoted to exploring where art, science, culture and technology come together – the exhibition featured more than 400 of the Maison’s creations, as well as 200 minerals. Visitors embarked on a journey to the origins of the mineral world, from the depths of the Earth to its surface, while also learning about the savoir-faire that makes it possible to transform these natural wonders into works of art.
In keeping with the backdrop of the ArtScience Museum, designed to suggest a lotus flower, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku drew subtle inspiration from the natural world to create a set design in which the organic realm of the Earth’s forces blends with the enchanting universe of Van Cleef & Arpels. The exhibition was designed to portray various themes dear to the Maison, including couture, abstraction, the influence of world cultures, precious objects, nature, ballerinas and fairies.
The Oiseau clip (1971-1972), centerpiece of the exhibition, depicts a 96.62-carat briolette-cut yellow diamond being carried through the air by a fanciful bird. The itinerary also included iconic creations illustrating the history of Van Cleef & Arpels, such as the MinaudièreTM, first imagined by the Maison in 1933, as well as ballerina clips, introduced in the early 1940s.