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November 17, 2017

Step into Van Cleef and Arpel’s installation inspired by Noah’s Ark

by Anne Verhallen

July 9th, 2017

If you’ve been perusing the internet these last few days...

you may have read all about the Leonardo Da Vinci painting “Salvator Mundi” auctioned at Christie’s for $450.3 million.

Even though all conversations have been dominated by this all-time high auction, today we delve into Van Cleef an Arpels’ latest exhibition in collaboration with set designer Robert Wilson, inspired by the classic tale of Noah’s Ark at Cedar Lake, in the heart of New York City’s art district.

Noah’s Ark, a tale as old as time and representative of the Bible’s Genesis, celebrates the wonders of nature. The story is based on faith, promise, and the perseverance of nature’s best creations, in which Noah collects enough males and females of each member of the animal kingdom with the promise of a new start and a better world.

Robert Wilson is an award-winning American theater and visual artist, and the set designer behind the concept and design of “Noah’s Ark inspires Van Cleef and Arpels”. Wilson was entrusted by the fine jeweler with the scenography to present this wondrous collection.

Entering the room where the exhibition takes place already gives you cues as to what’s ahead. Having to bow ever so slightly as if you were entering the cabin of a yacht, interrupts your line of thought and shifts your awareness to the room itself. The walls are covered in all sorts of blue hues that mimic the sea and its waves.

You may not hear it at first but the sound of rain enrobes you while simultaneously bringing the exhibition to life. Just when you thought you had settled in, the sound of unannounced thunder plays with the lights in the room and makes you notice this little sparkly Ark hanging from the ceiling at the far end of the room.

The exhibition features a beautiful collection of the most refined brooches in the form of different animals, from dainty little dragonflies and exotic birds to giraffes and kangaroos.

There’s a notable balance between storytelling and the jewelry collection itself. Robert Wilson does an incredible job of capturing Noah’s struggle through the storm and the subsequent arrival to a better world while preserving and highlighting the beauty of the world’s wonders.

For a moment I forgot I was in New York City and drifted to a world full of beautiful and intricately depicted creatures made out of sapphires, diamonds, rubies, corals and many other fine metals and minerals.

There is something incredibly distinctive about the use of these materials in relation to the story itself and the way the collection is presented, that invites you to escape the city’s buzz to admire the incomparable craftsmanship and creativity of one of the world’s most notable fine jewellery makers Van Cleef and Arpels together with one of America’s most remarkable theater director and visual artist.

“Noah’s Ark inspires Van Cleef and Arpels” View the installation from November 3th – 19th, 2017

Van Cleef & Arpels Animal Tradition is on display on the mezzanine of the New York Flagship boutique – 744 Fifth Avenue New York, New York.

All images courtesy of © Van Cleef & Arpels

Sources:  arkvca.com |robertwilson.com | The New York Times

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