Whether you’re in the mood for avant garde design, breathtaking gems, or historical treasures, here are some temporary exhibits of gems and jewelry worth a trip this year.
Gemstone Carvings: The Masterworks of Harold Van Pelt, through Spring 2012, at Houston Museum of Natural Science shows hand-carved quartz and agate sculptures and vessels by Harold Van Pelt.
Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, through June 17, 2012, at the Denver Art Museum. This is the last stop for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s collection of more than 200 brooches. They tell an intriguing story of American foreign policy, as she wore them to send messages to the foreign leaders and diplomats she met with.
The Cutting Edge II: Gem and Jewelry Invitational, through July 8, 2012, at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington, KY, features the work of contemporary jewelers and gem carvers including Susan Allen, Stephen Avery, Michael Christie, Angela Conty, Paula Crevoshay, Nicolai Medvedev, Todd Reed, Gil Roberts, and Stacia & Larry Woods.
Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep, through September 2012 at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design. Jewelry artist Arline Fisch combined her mastery of wire-weaving with blown air and lighting effects to create the illusion of an underwater world of sculpted, window-size jellyfish for this amazing traveling exhibit.
Steel Time, through September 15, 2012, at The Forbes Galleries, New York City. A look at the watch boom in the second half of the 19th century, as steel was introduced in watches, making them available to the masses.
Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret de Patta, June 5 – September 23, 2012. First comprehensive retrospective of the life and work of Margaret De Patta (1903-1964), a pioneer in American studio jewelry best known for her radical modernist designs of the mid-twentieth century. On display: brooches, pendants, and rings.
Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration, June 30 – October 7, 2012, at The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, London, will show the ways diamonds have been used by British monarchs over the last two centuries and includes an unprecedented display of the jewels the queen inherited or acquired during her reign. (Note: Buckingham Palace will be closed from July 9-30.)
Jewels, Gems and Treasures: Ancient to Modern, July 19, 2011-November 1, 2012, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, will be the first exhibit in the new jewelry gallery, showcasing the breadth of the museum’s jewelry collection from ancient Nubia to present-day Bulgari. You’ll find pieces worn by Mary Todd Lincoln, rare Arts & Crafts designs, and a suite of 19th-century jewels made from taxidermied hummingbirds.
Daniel Brush: Blue Steel Gold Light, October 16, 2012–February 17, 2013, Museum of Arts and Design, New York City. Experts often name Daniel Brush as one of the most collectible contemporary goldsmith/designers. MADD will devote two galleries to his paintings, drawings, sculpture, objects, and jewelry – including steel and gold tablet and wall sculptures, early granulated work, and jewels of Bakelite, aluminum, steel, and precious gems.
Egg-stravaganza, through December 2012, at the GIA headquarters in Carlsbad, CA, showcases 850 egg-shaped pieces carved by master lapidarist Dieter Jerusalem from gems and minerals from the around the world.