Within the context of Pforzheim’s 250th anniversary as the “City of Gold” in 2017, Pforzheim Jewellery Museum is showing twin exceptional exhibitions:

“Must-haves: Jewellery Created by Greats of the Craft”

In 1837, on the first day of selling luxury items in his shop in New York City, Charles Lewis Tiffany’s takings totalled not even five dollars. Nowadays, Tiffany & Co. ranks among the most famous jewellers worldwide, and Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was not the only one to gaze enraptured into the display window because jewellery created by greats of the craft makes many a heart beat faster. But Tiffany or Van Cleef & Arpels are only two of the luxury brands that are spotlighted in this exhibition, which also features those that started out on their road to success in Pforzheim or are located there, like Chopard and Wellendorff. Selected haute joaillerie creations are sure to put a sparkle in the visitors’ eyes.

Creating such unique pieces requires consummate craftsmanship, the finest of materials and sophisticated crafting techniques. These icons of the jeweller’s art were indeed being worn, as is evidenced by many paintings and sculptures.

“Must-sees: Jewellery in the Arts”

People love jewellery and like to be eternalized with all its splendour in pictures. So, while the “Must-haves” exhibition showcases superb examples of the goldsmith’s art, the parallel “Must-sees” show, spanning the eras from classical antiquity to the present day and presented partly in the Arts Association’s exhibition hall, illustrates how jewellery on the human body has been used as a motif in the Fine Arts.

The exhibits include a portrayal by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, for example, one of the most sought-after German portrait painters of the 19th century. It is on loan from the Art Museum of Estonia in Tallinn, which has also placed many other works of art at their disposal. Among the contemporary examples are works by the London-based artist Maisie Broadhead, who often incorporates pieces of jewellery in her photos so, as to create almost three-dimensional entities: fabulously mystical compositions that re-interpret old masters’ motifs in conjunction with modern accessories that show entirely different ways for ladies to wear pearls.

Highlighting another facet of the theme, the exhibition also showcases the photos, taken specifically for the “Must-sees” show by the photographer Isa Planck, of models wearing pieces from the Jewellery Museum’s collections. These twin exhibitions constitute a captivating symbiosis of unique, exquisite jewellery creations that are veritable must-haves, and their depictions in the fine arts, which indeed can justifiably be termed must-sees. Both exhibitions have been curated by the museum’s director, Cornelie Holzach, in collaboration with Martina Eberspächer as co-curator of the “Must-sees” show, whose exhibition design has been developed by Cornelia Wehle.

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