Bedazzled by JAR

Shradha Ramesh reports on ‘Jewels by JAR’ exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York:  In 1978, New York born Joel Arthur Rosenthal well known as JAR opened Place Vendôme in Paris. Since then the stalwart continues to rein the contemporary artists of gems. Dedicated to creating the finest of finest dazzling jewels in the world, Place Vendôme is the epicenter of his creation. It is one of his seminal endeavors and key entry point into the jewelry industry. Known for his detail oriented eccentric craftsmanship Rosenthal follows a labor intensive, intricate design process called the pavé technique – a process of placing small stones besides each other on a metal alloy. His creation is lauded not just for its craftsmanship and quality but also his selection of themes and colors. With an overarching theme of ephemeral changes in flowers – buds, bloom or falling petals and butterflies his brooches and rings are a unique sculptural rendition. During the press preview, curator Jane Adlin describes his work “I think Joel is best known for his technique of pavé. He’s discriminating but indiscriminate in his use of gemstones,” Adlin said. “So he’ll mix very, very fine perfectly cut, perfectly flawless gemstones with some that are not. He will use lesser quality stones. He will use lesser-known stones. But the outcome is this extraordinary piece of jewelry, which if you just put it on your dresser or your coffee table it would in fact be a piece of sculpture.”

Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris Raspberry Brooch, 2011, Rubies, diamonds, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Collection of Sien M. Chew

Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris
Raspberry Brooch, 2011,
Rubies, diamonds, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
Collection of Sien M. Chew. Image Credit: http://jewelrynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/jewels-by-jar-dazzling-display-of.html

In 35 years of making jewelry Rosenthal’s works rarely did he display his work in public. Being opinioned and structured he tends to focus more on quality and the aesthetic value. With particular buyer in mind his craftsmen from Switzerland and France create 70 to 80 pieces a year, Rosenthal feels “Getting the right things on the right people is part of making those things.” He is specific about who wears his jewels, he chooses his seller and sometimes refuses to sell his jewel if the design doesn’t suit the wearer. Rosenthal’s clientele are selective group of ardent connoisseurs and his collection cater to them to name few – Elizabeth Taylor, Elle Macpherson, Barbara Walter, Ann Getty, Mary Pinault and Jo Carole. Having said that, in recent years his auction results have been sky rocketing, his jewels sell for twice the price at auction resale than when they are bought first hand.

Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris Lilac Brooches, 2001 Diamonds, lilac sapphires, garnets, aluminum, silver, and gold. Private collection

Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris
Lilac Brooches, 2001
Diamonds, lilac sapphires, garnets, aluminum, silver, and gold.
Private collection. Image Credit: http://jewelrynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/jewels-by-jar-dazzling-display-of.html

And for the first time Rosenthal will be represented in United States at the Meteropolitan Museum of Art. A retrospective exhibit the collections are some of his finest creation ranging from earring, brooches and watches lent by private collectors. “JAR has been creating masterworks for over 35 years and hasn’t had a major solo exhibition in the U.S.,” associate curator Jane Adlin says.

A repertoire of 400 jewels designed by Joel Arthur Rosenthal will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, starting November 20, 2013 the exhibit Jewels of JAR will be on display until 9th March 2013.

To learn more about the exhibition Click Here.

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