He is one of the world’s top jewelers and can turn stones into shimmering flowers and butterflies. His work has impeccable quality, virtuous color compositions and dramatic effects. Joel Arthur Rosenthal, a native New Yorker who has been working under the name of JAR in Paris since the 1960s, is notoriously secretive. Unlike his jewel neighbors at the Place Vendôme in Paris, his boutique doesn’t even have a window, much less jewels displayed for all to see. So, it’s a special event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present an exhibit devoted to his work. Jewels by JAR running from November 20, 2013–March 9, 2014 in Gallery 913 will feature more than four hundred works by Rosenthal, including his delicate blossoms, leaves and “witty objets d’art”.
Once you’ve had enough of JAR’s diamonds, sapphires, garnets, topazes, and rubies, you can walk over to Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave) and try his collection of fragrances at the in-store boutique. Don’t miss Golconda, a bigger than life carnation, and Bolt of Lightning, an equally dramatic tuberose.
While you’re walking around the Met, don’t miss a charming exhibit on Chinese snuff bottles. Small Delights : Chinese Snuff Bottles runs until February 17, 2014 in Gallery 207. It lets you discover the miniature masterpieces that influenced many perfume bottle designers, including Pierre Dinand and his famous bottle for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium.
Snuff, inhaled for its stimulating effect, is a mixture of powdered tobacco leaves, aromatic herbs and spices. The intricately designed portable containers soon became fashionable at the Chinese court. Small Delights presents bottles spanning several centuries of the Qing dynasty (1644—1911), and whether in stone, porcelain, ivory, lacquer, or metalwork, each object is exquisite.
To find out more, please check the Met website.
Extra: a New York Times article by Cathy Horyn, For a Jeweler, All That Bedazzles.
Images: JAR Bolt of Lightning perfume bottle; Snuff Bottle with European Woman and Child, 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.