Ticket reservations are required. Facial coverings are strongly recommended. See Health and Safety.
June 12, 2021 — September 19, 2021
Free for Members.
This exhibition is located on the 1st floor, inside the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.
Beautiful Creatures presents more than 100 animal-themed precious jewels created by the world's great jewelry houses and artisans, from Cartier's iconic panthers to Suzanne Belperron's butterflies, featured in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery.
This exhibition is featured in the new permanent Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals and is free with any admission.
Creatures of the Sea
Wonderful and mysterious creatures of the sea have been commemorated in all kinds of imaginative jewels. Many were made as a fond memory of beach holidays or an emblem of appreciation for ocean wildlife.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí’s starfish design reflected his interest in the symbolism of the animal. Starfish represent renewal because they can reproduce lost appendages.
See the Étoile de Mer brooch, Verdura lion's paw shell brooches, and other jewels inspired by creatures of the sea in Beautiful Creatures.
Creatures of Land
Elephants, giraffes, lions, panthers and zebras stampeded into fine jewelry collections in the 1960s and continued to roam through them in the 1970s.
Their presence was due in part to the extensive media coverage of conservationists seeking to protect endangered animals in Africa. The news put the creatures foremost in the minds of jewelry designers.
See the lion brooch and jewels inspired by other African mammals, snakes, and insects from Cartier, JAR, Tiffany, and others in Beautiful Creatures.
Creatures of Air
Thanks in part to engaging displays at natural history museums, including this one, many people developed an interest in insects and their relatives at the end of the 1800s. This fascination brought a whole menagerie of arthropods into the realm of jewelry.
Over the last 150 years, designers have continued to transform the jewel-like qualities of insects into naturalistic and artistic creations.
See more dazzling butterfly, dragonfly, and bird jewels from Boucheron, Cartier, Hemmerle, Wallace Chan, and others in Beautiful Creatures.