Sunday, November 12, 2017


Heron brooches  on display at Van Cleef & Arples' L'Arche de Noé

Digitized walls of simulated seas convene a tone of tranquility for L'Arche de Noé recontée par Van Clef & Arpels. Yet, contrary to the traditional treatment of Noah's Ark as centerpiece, atmospheric cues converge the eye toward hotly lit display cases--with a miss-able, skeletal vessel suspended towards the far wall. Unveiled in the the U.S. for the first time, Van Cleef's high jewels--inspired by Noah's Ark--features 60 handcrafted animal brooches enveloped in the artistic undertones of Robert Wilson's theatrical prowess. Keep reading for a look inside...

Exhibit room with digital walls

Guests enter a solitary room in 15 minute increments, surrounding themselves with square cases and slow strains of Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part. Halfway through, a clap of thunder startles and the room falls dark, signaling a storm. Minutes later, the meditative experience is disrupted once more--marking an impending end to the timed experience.


Inspired by an encounter with Jan Brueghel's 1613 painting "The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark," Van Cleef & Arples CEO Nicolas Bos focuses this high jewelry collection on animals. Playful pairings of select species are rendered in distinct styles with varying materials. Preparing the exhibit took 3 years from concept to completion, with a dedicated team of 10 creators. Many pieces were handcrafted with the Van Cleef's 'Mystery Set' technique, allowing for a flawless masterpiece without visible mounting. Brooches were chosen as an ideal medium as often bracelets or necklaces present limitations and considerations of shape and wearability. The animals are presented in pairs, with the exception of a phoenix and a unicorn (it is rumored that the mythical creatures never boarded the boat because they lacked a pair!). 

 Koala Clips: white gold + yellow gold + pink, blue and mauve sapphires + onyx + diamonds 

L'arch de Noé racontée par Van Clef & Arples is open to the public until November 19th. Reserve your timed tickets here and Stop by Cedar Lake at 547 West 26th Street to experience this high jewelry collection!


“the idea is to have exhibitions that are open to the public in a gallery, to show that looking at jewelry is not just a commercial experience...”
-Nicholas Bos, CEO Van Cleef & Arples    

Coupled birds



High jewelry made with the patented "Mystery set" technique




Take a wild guess...


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