L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, Returns to New York City
The Only Education and Cultural Platform of its Kind Worldwide, L’ÉCOLE Provides Accessible, Hands-On Engagement for Audiences of All Ages and Backgrounds
Classes, Exhibitions, Conversations, & Creative Workshops Hosted at 2 East 63rd Street October 24–November 9, 2018
L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, returns to New York City this October with a series of classes, exhibitions, and evening conversations that invite the public to immerse themselves in the art of jewelry guided by leading experts. L’ÉCOLE will take up residence at 2 East 63rd Street from October 24–November 9, 2018, with a dynamic roster of programs that introduce and deepen visitors’ understanding of the jewelry-making processes and techniques, gemology, and the fascinating history behind some of the world’s most precious stones.
Marking the school’s most expansive U.S. program to date, the fall 2018 program will feature 15 courses, 4 workshops designed for children and teens, and 6 conversations that bring together experts across the disciplines of art, science, history, and technology. Three exhibitions will enhance the educational programs. They include the New York debut of works by renowned American artist Daniel Brush, featuring a series of chokers, a set of bangles inspired by the bracelet’s cultural role in India, and the artist’s first visual poetry book; a rare presentation of a private New York collection of jewelry from the 19th century to the 1960s; and a display of historical reproductions—made possible due to L’ÉCOLE’s multidisciplinary research approach—that reimagine 20 exquisite diamonds previously owned by Louis XIV, but which are now mostly lost to the world.
“Traditionally, the jewelry arts have been rooted in the expertise of a select few and passed down through direct apprenticeship,” said Marie Vallanet-Delhom, President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts. “L’ÉCOLE’s programs break down barriers to the vast and enchanting world of jewelry for everyone. Whether you’re a collector or wear only your wedding band; whether you’re an engineer, a painter, or a school teacher; you’ll learn directly from our experts and the only prerequisite is a desire to learn.”
“We are proud to support L’ÉCOLE’s broad educational mission, providing object-based learning in the jewelry arts around the world,” said Nicolas Bos, Global President & Chief Executive Officer, Van Cleef & Arpels. “Anyone can learn to determine the difference between related stones, admire the craftsmanship that goes into each detail in a setting, and discover the symbolic references that inspire the great designs of today.”
Founded in 2012, with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE has been a pioneer in jewelry arts education, unlocking the elusive world of jewelry for more than 30,000 participants coming from 44 different countries. Based at Place Vendôme in Paris with nomadic programs around the world, L’ÉCOLE is dedicated to passing down the expertise of jewelry-making to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, ensuring that this ancient tradition remains vital today. Subjects taught at L’ÉCOLE range from hands-on craftsmanship and gemology to learning about the various jewelers and individuals that have influenced the world of jewelry. The fall 2018 program marks the first return of L’ÉCOLE to New York City since it debuted at the Cooper Hewitt in 2015. The full New York class schedule will be available at us.lecolevancleefarpels.com in August 2018.
Each class can be taken à la carte, in any order, and is offered multiple times throughout the two-and-a-half-week residency to provide flexibility in scheduling. Leading scholars in the fields of science, art, and history guide every class, with faculty that includes jewelers, designers, mockup artists, art and jewelry historians, gemologists, and lacquer artists. The classes are between 2-4 hours, led by 2-4 teachers with a maximum of 12 students. Class size is limited to ensure an intimate experience, and student interaction is fueled both by a shared passion for the jewelry arts and the chance to mingle during receptions prior to each class. These classes range in price from $125 - $250.
L’ÉCOLE offers three types:
- “Savoir-Faire” allows each student, even novices, to don a jeweler’s coat and personally handle and manipulate materials and tools.
- “Art History of Jewelry” explores the practical and aesthetic evolutions of jewelry from ancient times through today.
- "Universe of Gemstones” illuminates the mysteries of how gems are created and valued through observation and experiment.
Classes new to New York include a course on the history and gemology of engagement rings, a focused workshop on Japanese urushi lacquer, two classes on gouaché painting and its fundamental role in a jewelry team’s design process, and an expanded selection of art history classes that use jewelry as the prism through which to understand historical moments, people, and cultures.
L’ÉCOLE also invites young audiences to discover the art of jewelry through a series of four creative workshops specifically designed for children and teens (ages 5–16). Each workshop is 2 hours long and $15.
L’ÉCOLE is also dedicated to advancing the scholarship and appreciation of jewelry arts through exhibitions and publications. The exhibition schedule calls attention to the many facets of the jewelry arts: art in the form of sculptural works by Daniel Brush, connoisseurship marked by an exclusive viewing of a local private jewelry collection, and science and history in a display of replicas that are only possible due to L’ÉCOLE’s multidisciplinary research approach. Each exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue written by jewelry historians, curators and professionals in their field. Guides will be present at all times in each exhibition to offer tours to visitors. Exhibitions will be open 10:00am-6:00pm from October 24 to November 9, 2018, and are free to the public.
Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks features two new series by the American artist Daniel Brush and was first presented at L’ÉCOLE’s Place Vendôme last fall. Fascinated with the history of jewelry, Brush is a self-taught master metalworker whose work explores the relationship of structure and meaning and redefines jewelry’s role in our lives today. The exhibition features Necks, a series of 117 chokers also captured as photographs in the artist’s first visual poetry book, and Cuffs, a set of 72 bangles inspired by the Nizam of Hyderabad’s jewels and by the bracelet’s cultural role in India. This is the first time these creations will be on view in New York.
Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur offers a rare opportunity to see a distinguished local jewelry collection and explores the many reasons why an individual may collect. The New York-based private collection features exceptional works from the 19th century to the 1960s.
The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King presents replicas of 20 diamonds previously owned by Louis XIV, and now mostly lost to the world, which were recreated through the meticulous research of L’ÉCOLE experts in partnership with the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. The traveling merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier sold hundreds of diamonds from the Mogul Empire of India to Louis XIV in 1668, of which 20 exceptional examples were immediately singled out to be included in the book The Six Voyages of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, 1676. All but the Blue Diamond (now the Hope Diamond) disappeared in the 19th century, but L’ÉCOLE’s collaborative team reconstituted this history to create a display of accurate reproductions.
Additionally, L’ÉCOLE is organizing 6 conversations that provide further insight into the world of jewelry. Each talk brings together at least two experts who engage in a dialogue exploring the jewelry arts from a variety of perspectives. These events commence with a cocktail reception to welcome attendees and are $25. Among the topics explored this fall include Jewelry in Film and Truffles and Gems. L’ÉCOLE will also offer conversations inspired by Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks, The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds, and Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur, in which audiences can hear directly from the artist and researchers behind these exhibitions.
About L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts
L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, supported by Van Cleef & Arpels based in Place Vendôme in Paris since 2012, is the first school for the jewelry arts that serves everyone from eager novices to expert connoisseurs. The program offers regular monthly classes in Paris (in both English and French) and has organized series in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and Dubai to extend the offer of jewelry arts education around the world. L’ÉCOLE also supports scholarship through a robust program of exhibitions, publications, partnerships with leading museums and other institutions, a series of online instructional videos, and a library of jewelry arts.