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The art of jewellery on show at the MNAC

The exhibition ‘Artist’s Jewels’ brings together 350 pieces from renowned artists such as Pau Gargallo, Salvador Dalí and Alexander Calder. The exhibition show the jewels designed by great artists of the early 20th century. It can be seen in National Art Museum of Catalonia, in Barcelona, until the 13th February.

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27 October 2010 10:44 PM

by

ACN / Sarah Garrahan / Elisenda Rosanas

Barcelona (ACN).- When artists walk away from their traditional disciplines to explore jewellery making, are their final pieces jewellery or art? The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) answers this question with their exhibition \u2018Artist\u2019s Jewels: From Modernism to the Avant-garde\u2019 that seeks to explore the \u2018occasional but fruitful approach by artists to the world of jewellery\u2019. 20th century modern and avant-garde necklaces, earrings, broaches and rings will fill the gallery until the 13th of February.


Josep Llimona, Auguste Rodin and Pau Gargallo did not limit themselves to the art of sculpture. They also designed jewellery. The MNAC is holding the first exhibition of this kind, with a total of 350 pieces of jewellery. The curator of the exhibition, Mariàngels Fondevila, explained that \u201Cmuch of the jewellery has never been seen before\u201D, as many of the artists are well known for other artistic disciplines. The exhibition also features work from jewellers such as René Lalique, known for his innovative Art Nouveau designs, or Catalan master, Lluís Masriera.

Fondevila called the exhibition a \u201Ccostly\u201D one, especially during the climate of the current economic crisis where \u201Cloans are not easy to obtain\u201D. Many of the works belong to private collections and were difficult to obtain. A number of works came from New York\u2019s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visitors will have the chance to explore what early 20th century jewellery making was like. They will also learn about the artistic movements that influenced jewellery at the time such as modernism and the avant-garde.

One of the most anticipated collections is of the American sculptor Alexander Calder. He designed several pieces for Catalan artists at the time. One of the most famous pieces from the collection is his necklace \u2018The Jealous Husband\u2019 that landed him on the front page of the New York Times.

Pau Gargallo, Salvador Dalí (thanks to the Dalí Museum in Figueres), Josep Llimona, Joaquim Gomis, Manuel Capdevila and Lluís Masriera are some of the Catalan artists that form a part of the exhibition.

The exhibition also includes a part dedicated to the relationship between jewellery and the body, with dresses from designers such as Marià Fortuny and a gallery of photographs from the 1930s by Man Ray, Edward Steixhen and Horst P. Horst.

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  • A necklace from the MNAC's exhibition (by E. Rosanas)

  • The "Jealous Husband" necklace by Alexander Calder (by E. Rosanas)

  • A necklace from the MNAC's exhibition (by E. Rosanas)
  • The "Jealous Husband" necklace by Alexander Calder (by E. Rosanas)
The art of jewellery on show at the MNAC