Van Cleef and Arpels Jewelry Exhibition at AMNH

Van Cleef and Arpels Jewelry Exhibition, Called "Garden of Green", is Currently Available for Viewing at the American Museum of Natural History.

Jul 7, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Van Cleef and Arpels
The Quatre Chemins necklace. Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.


Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry is currently on view at the American Museum of Natural History. The title of the exhibition is “Garden of Green” which combines science and art.  The “Green” exhibition’s location is at the Halls of Gems and Minerals, which offers an outstanding radiant glow. Exploring this space is undoubtedly fascinating.


Van Cleef and Arpels Jewelry, 117-Year-Old Heritage

Garden of green
“Garden of Green: Exquisite Jewelry” is in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery. Photo: Alvaro Keding, courtesy of AMNH.


Precious green-stone jewelry and artifacts are over a century old and represent the house’s most precious tradition. Display’s director, Alexandrine Maviel-Sonet spoke about the symbolization of the whole exhibition. “Green symbolizes hope and of course the inspiration of nature”. In order to achieve the plan, the director worked with Dr. George E. Harlow of the American Museum of Natural History.


The public will have a chance to enjoy the jewelry viewing until the first month of next year. The exhibition consists of 44 artifacts, of high French quality. Most of the jewelry comes from Van Cleef and Arpels, but some of it is on loan from private collectors. Of the total number of jewelry, the public is the most familiar with emeralds and jade.  The 32 valuables, although they have never been exhibited in America, can certainly attract attention with their beauty.


The Pongal ring (2012)
The Pongal ring (2012). Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.


Emerald, green chalcedony, chrysoprase, malachite, peridot, and jadeite are among the gemstones that appear in separate areas of the display. Also, Variations of Green is a collection of stones in works that draw inspiration from the environment. “The stones come first. We have to select the best stones. Once we have the stones, then we do the design and creation”, Maviel-Sonet says.

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A Developing Story, Not Just a Collection of Treasures

Bracelet (1925)
Bracelet (1925) in platinum with three cabochon-cut emeralds for 71.33 carats and diamonds. Via the collections.


The show is a developing story of aesthetics rather than just a collection of treasures in various shades of greenery. A 1950s rodent pendant, a streamlined contemporary bracelet, and a brutalist collar with gemstones that appear to be unrefined and rough-hewn are all in opposition to one another.


The personal grotto-like “Garden of Green” transition in the opulent Halls of Gems and Minerals makes a brilliant declaration about the instinctively human drive for visual appeal and inventiveness: the reason why any challenging jewel gets selected, honed, and placed is the reason it is kept in a jeweler’s vitrine instead of a museum’s showcase scenario.


Mouse and Bird
Mouse and Bird clips featuring green chrysoprase. Via the collection.


When it comes to The Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, it ell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral species arose on our planet, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology. The galleries feature more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.