I had one of the most amazing experiences this week. I was able to see the most spectacular collection of jewels ever! I am talking about the phenomenal exhibit at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. I was also able to preview the exhibit with the designer of the exhibit, the curators and executive staff of the museum. Drawn to Beauty and Jewels of the Imagination are a showcase of the art and works of Jean Schlumberger. Jean Schlumberger was born into a prominent textile family in Alsace France. Although he showed promise in his drawings at a young age his parents wanted him to be a banker and they sent him to Berlin to learn about banking. That did not work for him as it would not for most artists and he went to Paris to be an artist. Each and every piece that Schlumberger creates are a nod to nature and as he states he tries to make everything look as though it is growing, organic, natural.
He starts each design with a sketch and painting. Here are some that they had on display to show how detailed he became with each piece.
This exhibit is the largest collection of Schlumberger’s work and is from both Tiffany’s archives and The Mellon Estate. Bunny Mellon was one of his biggest supporters and he created many of the pieces for her directly.
To see the flow of his amazing career and the range of his pieces was amazing. The letters that were shared during the creative process are so enchanting.
As you turn from Drawn to Beauty into Jewels of the Imagination your breath is taken away by the amazing work that Rush Jenkins and his team did to put together the display. They used images from the Mellon estate and their gardens to create the feeling that you were there in the gardens yourself.
I am torn by how much to show you in pictures verse you experiencing it on your own as I feel this is an exhibit that everyone should go see. There are amazing pieces not only of jewelry but also table top decorations, the jewelry boxes that were used to give pieces as gifts have lapis tops. There are pieces that will take your breath away and ones that will make you smile from the whimsy. As a designer I had a hard time leaving as the natural elements that were used to display each piece were magnificent. Each display allowed the viewer to experience the open and the hidden elements. It was just as much about the finding of the elements and the impact that each section had on you as it was about the phenomenal artwork that Schlumberger created.
Go see the best of Tiffany in these collections. Imagine what it would be to wear the most magnificent pieces of jewelry ever created and know that art is more than a painting or drawing. Art is the embodiment of all things beautiful and creating a space to truly display that beauty.