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TALK JEWELS: The Fashion Group International took over Midtown Manhattan auction house Bonhams on Wednesday night with “Jewelry: Rich & Rare,” a discussion of vintage jewelry museum exhibitions. Bonhams’ director of U.S. jewelry, Susan Abeles, moderated the panel, which consisted of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Jane Adlin; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s Sarah Coffin, and David Webb’s Mark Emanuel.
The panelists discussed recent jewelry exhibits worldwide, including the Met’s recent “Jewels by JAR,” and the Smithsonian’s “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels.” Adlin and Coffin, who curated the respective exhibits, described the process of building the projects, while Emanuel expressed the impact the final exhibits have on both the public and the jewelry brands themselves.
“A museum [exhibit] adds a certain gravitas and authenticity to the exposition of a language or even of a product,” Emanuel said. “In the case of the Van Cleef exhibit, during the museum exhibit and afterwards, you could see a considerable bump in the market value of Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry, and that continues even now. The confluence between museums and commerce does exist. There is always a buzz that follows after museum shows.”