Sunday, January 25, 2009

Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique

This exhibit was at the Cleveland Museum of Art until January 18 and words cannot explain how totally bummed I am that I missed it. This is the first exhibit I've missed for years at the Museum, and it's one that I've been looking forward to for AGES. *sigh*

But, starting February 7, you can find it in San Francisco, at the Legion of Honor. I just happen to have a cousin in San Fran, who just bought a house... so all hope is not lost for me. If you find yourself in Northern California, you should definitely go!

From the Detroit News:

Antique lovers won't want to miss this breathtaking exhibition, which includes rare loans from public and private collections worldwide and is the first comparative study of the work of three of the 20th century's greatest designers. More than 50 international lenders include Queen Elizabeth II of England and Prince Albert of Monaco. Santa may not have tucked one of these masterpieces into your stocking, but don't miss the chance to see them up close in Cleveland.

Considered the "Big Three" of the decorative arts world at the turn of the century, Peter Carl Faberge in Russia, Louis Comfort Tiffany in the United States and Rene Lalique in France enjoyed a spirited rivalry that resulted in the production of some of the world's most beautiful jewelry, decorative arts and other luxury goods. This opulent exhibition of more than 300 objects provides plenty of eye candy and reunites many of their finest masterworks for the first time since they were on view together as part of the legendary 1900 Paris World's Fair.

Highlights include five Imperial Easter eggs by Faberge, one Imperial egg by Cartier and an Imperial Basket of Flowers by Faberge, all designed for the Russian Tsars and their family and later sold by the Bolsheviks; the American debut of Louis Comfort Tiffany's "Magnolia Window," a stained-glass work purchased in Paris in 1901 for a Russian baron and only seen in Russia; Edward VII's cigarette case, on loan from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; and glittering jewelry featuring diamonds and rare gems by Tiffany & Co. Other treats include the "Autumn Leaf Globe Lamp" and "Adam's Vase," on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and former star of the 1900 Paris World's Fair, both by Tiffany; Faberge's "Kremlin Tower Clock"; and Lalique's "Frogs and Lilypads" vase.

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