Cartier has played a prominent role in the history of the decorative arts. Cartier designs, from classic pieces worthy of the “kings’ jeweller” to radical Art Deco creations, are an intriguing testimony to the changes intaste and social codes.
The exhibition has been designed as an art history exhibition. Some 600 pieces of jewellery, objects, watches and clocks are teamed up with dresses and accessories, advertising photographs, engravings and fashion magazines to give visitors an idea ofthe art and taste of the time. Over 300 preparatory drawings, numerous archival documents take visitors behind the scenes.
Star pieces from Cartier’s history are on show, starting with a series of sumptuous diadems, illustrating the virtuosity ofthe craftsmen and the ambitions of a certain clientele. Underlining the importance of watch making in Cartier’s identity, the exhibition also presents an unprecedented number of mysterious clocks, a spectacular ensemble of fifteen pieces, each one a masterpiece of refinement and craftsmanship.
A prestigious ensemble of about twenty pieces, some official and others more personal, from the Prince of Monaco’s collection reveal Princess Grace’s elegant taste. Visitors will also get a glimpse of the extraordinary Marjorie Merriweather Post, the heiress of a huge cereal empire and the most assiduous customer of Cartier New York.
The exhibition presents several emblematic figures in Cartier’s history: important customers, actresses orheiresses (Barbara Hutton, Marlene Dietrich, Liz Taylor, Maria Félix…), maharajahs from the Indies –just a dream at the time and now not so far away – or trendsetters from various periods who left their mark on history (Daisy Fellowes, Mona Bismarck, the Duchess of Windsor…).
The exhibition unfolds like a story, creating a different atmosphere for each section, achieving its twofold aim of letting the magic of the objects speak for itself while giving visitor the keys to understanding this eventful tale.
From 4 December to 6 January
From 8 January to 16 February