"Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love" exhibition

"Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love" exhibition
From January 19, 2023 to April 15, 2023
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

National Museum of Saudi Arabia

The “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition displayed the universe of the High Jewelry Maison at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, from January 19 to April 15, 2023. Around 280 jewelry creations, watches, precious objects produced since the Maison was founded in 1906, and more than 90 original archives, were gathered for the occasion.


This rare selection was showcased in an immersive scenography conceived by international architect-designer Johanna Grawunder. Using neon colored light, she created a poetic and mysterious space and conceived a monumental transparent sculpture displayed in the Love room. Together with Michał Batory, graphic designer, who created a special typography and produced a video for the occasion, they contributed to highlight the timeless style of the Maison.


The exhibition also reaffirmed the Maison’s values – creation, transmission and education – through an extensive calendar that included talks with regional and international speakers, adults and children workshops and other immersive educational activities.

    For the “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition in Riyadh, designer Johanna Grawunder created an architectural decor playing on transparency, light and color

Curated by Alba Cappellieri, Professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University and President of the Milano Fashion Institute, the exhibition offered a journey across 3 sections: Time, Nature and Love.


The art of jewelry maintains a complex relationship with time, ever in balance between the eternal and the ephemeral, tradition and fashion. The exhibition demonstrated the prowess of Van Cleef & Arpels in thoroughly representing a fragmented age like the 20th century, embodying at once the timeless value of beauty and fleeting power of enchantment.


Drawing from Italian writer Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Alba Cappellieri chose key concepts through which she interprets the Maison’s creations and their relationship with time. The initial part on Time extended over ten sections, all focused on aspects emblematic of the period.

"I consider Time, Nature and Love to be the most important and most representative values of life and consequently of the objects that accompany our daily lives."

Alba Cappellieri


A time-honored source of inspiration for both art and jewelry, nature has endowed the Maison with an inexhaustible formal repertoire. Throughout its history, plants, flowers and animals have engendered an abundance of colors, patterns and materials, from precious gems to ornamental stones and organic materials.

Inside the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, the Nature section recalled a stroll through a lush garden, enveloped in greenery and flowers in bloom, birds in flight and mischievous animals, all representative of the ever-evolving style of the Maison.


A powerful energy, Love gave birth to the High Jewelry Maison: it was founded in 1906 following the wedding of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels in Paris a few years before. Some 30 pieces – clips, rings, bracelets, objects and more – together with sketches and archival documents illustrated the full symbolic power of precious gifts, as well as the bonds forged by Van Cleef & Arpels with certain legendary couples who left their mark on the 20th century.


Alba Cappellieri

Curator of the exhibition and Professor of Design of Jewelry and Fashion Accessories at the Politecnico di Milano, where she is the Director of the International Master in Fashion Accessories Design. She is also at the head of the Master on Brand and Product Management at the Milano Fashion Institute. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of L'ECOLE, School of Jewelry Arts in Paris and of the Fondazione Cologni in Milan. She curated several international jewelry exhibitions.​

Johanna Grawunder

Designer/artist Johanna Grawunder works on a broad range of projects,  from largescale public lighting and color installations, architectural interventions and interiors, to limited-edition furniture and light collections for Carpenters Workshop Gallery in US and Europe.

Michal Batory

Graphic designer Michał Batory works as an independent graphic designer since 1994. He is renowned in the cultural world for the imaginative and surprising posters he creates for shows performed in international theatres and museums.






Exhibition curators

Alba Cappellieri

Professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University and President of the Milano Fashion Institute

Nicolas Bos

President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels



Johanna Grawunder


Michal Batory



Exhibition image

Ministry of Culture

Exhibition image

National Museum of Saudi Arabia