Press Release

L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, Returns to New York City

Event Date: 
25 October 2018
New York, NY
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The Only Educational and Cultural Platform of its Kind Worldwide, L’ÉCOLE Provides Accessible, Hands-On Experience for Audiences of All Ages and Backgrounds

Classes, Exhibitions, Conversations, and Children’s Workshops Hosted at 2 East 63rd Street, October 25–November 9, 2018

L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, has returned to New York City with a series of classes, exhibitions, and conversations that invite the public to immerse themselves in the art of jewelry guided by leading experts. L’ÉCOLE is in residence at 2 East 63rd Street from October 25–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 features 15 courses4 workshops designed for children and teens, and 8 conversations that bring together experts across the disciplines of art, science, history, and technology. The educational programs will be enhanced by 3 exhibitions, open to the public with free admission. 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.”

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. “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, President & CEO, 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.”

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, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2015. The full New York class schedule is available at



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 are present at all times in each exhibition to offer tours to visitors. Exhibitions are open 10:00am–6:00pm from October 25 to November 9, 2018, and are free to the public. All visitors to the exhibitions receive free copies of the accompanying exhibition catalogues.

Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks features two new series by the American artist Daniel Brush. 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.

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.

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 around 40 exceptional works from the 19th century to the 1960s.  



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 professors 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 of classes with a wide selection within each category as well as an introductory course:

1) “Savoir-Faire” allows each student, even novices, to don a jeweler’s coat and personally handle and manipulate materials and tools.

  • Trying out the Jeweler’s Techniques
  • From Design to Mock-up
  • Introduction to Setting
  • Trying Your Hand at Japanese Urushi Lacquer (New)
  • The Gouaché in High Jewelry 1: The Light (New)
  • The Gouaché in High Jewelry 2: The Color (New)


2) “Art History of Jewelry” explores the practical and aesthetic evolutions of jewelry from ancient times through today.

  • Gold & Jewelry, from Antiquity to the Renaissance Princes (New)
  • The Birth of Jewelry (New)
  • Amulets & Precious Symbols
  • Entering the Van Cleef & Arpels Universe


3) “Universe of Gemstones” illuminates the mysteries of how gems are created and valued through observation and experiment.

  • Introduction to Gemology
  • Recognize the Gemstones
  • The Diamond’s Magic Symbols & Legends
  • The Diamond, A Gemological Exception


4) Introductory Course: The Engagement Ring: History, Gemology & Know How



L’ÉCOLE also invites young audiences to discover the art of jewelry through a series of four creative workshops on Saturdays specifically designed for children and teens (ages 5–16). Each workshop is 2 hours long and $15.

  • Make Your Own Treasure Chest (ages 8–12)
  • Discovering the World of Gems (ages 13–17)
  • The Mock-Up, 1st Sculptural Vision of a Jewel (ages 13–17)
  • Plus, an additional workshop for the youngest jewelry enthusiasts (ages 5–7)



Additionally, L’ÉCOLE presents 8 conversations on weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons 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. The topics explored and distinguished panelists this fall include:

  • “Fewer, Better Things” with Nicolas Bos, President & CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels; Glenn Adamson, author of Fewer, Better Things, curator, and scholar at Yale Center for British Art; Daniel Brush, artist; and Spencer Bailey, writer and editor
  • “History’s Lost Jewels” with Stellene Volandes, Editor-in-chief of Town & Country, and Nicolas Luchsinger, Asia Pacific President & CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels and Director of the “Héritage” collection
  • “Jean-Baptiste Tavernier: Rediscovered Treasures” with François Farges, mineralogist; Jeffrey Post, Department of Mineral Sciences Chairman and Curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Institution; and Paul Paradis, art historian and Professor at L’ÉCOLE
  • “Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur” with Dr. Joe Levine, collector and Stephen Harrison, curator at the Cleveland Museum of Fine Arts
  • “The Timeless Work of Daniel Brush: A Conversation” with Daniel Brush, artist, and Beth Wees, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • “Screen Gems, Jewelry in the Movies” with Marion Fasel, Founder and Director of The Adventurine, and Frank Everett, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President of the Luxury Division
  • “Great Women Jewelers: Inspirational Minds” with Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld, Member of the Gemological Association of Great Britain and author, and Inezita Gay-Eckel, art historian and Professor at L’ÉCOLE
  • “Gems & Truffles” with Dominique Dufermont, gemologist and Professor at L’ÉCOLE, and Alain Verzeroli, chef



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Courtesy of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.