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Issue Date: September 2008


Artistic Luxury

Oct. 19-Jan. 18
Cleveland Museum of Art
clevelandart.org

Those who weren’t around for the extravagant 1900 World’s Fair in Paris will have the chance to experience the next best thing at the Cleveland Museum of Art’sArtistic Luxury: Fabergé Tiffany Lalique.

Luxury goods by design masters Peter Carl Fabergé, Louis Comfort Tiffany and René Lalique will be reunited for the first time since the World’s Fair. A remarkable achievement, Artistic Luxury is the result of six years of planning, organizing, and acquiring loans from public and private collections and institutions worldwide.

The exhibit will highlight and compare the distinctive artistic vision of each designer with more than 300 works on display, including Imperial Easter eggs by Fabergé, the stained-glass Magnolia Window by Tiffany and stylized, nature-inspired jewelry by Lalique.

Although differing in style and technique, the three artists share a connection to nature: Tiffany’s pieces reflect the colorful qualities of fall foliage, Lalique’s jewelry features insects, bats and other creatures of Halloween, and Fabergé’s work depicts snowflakes and icicles characteristic of Russian winters. “It’s interesting, because the works lend themselves well to this season and time of year,” says Stephen Harrison, CMA’s curator of decorative art and design.

In addition to the featured designers, the exhibit will showcase their artistic rivals at the turn of the 19th century, including Cartier and Gorham. Early original drawings by Fabergé, Tiffany and Lalique will also offer historical context.

“Most shows simply give you masterpieces and masterworks, but what you don’t see is the history behind the show,” he says. “By putting all three [designers] together, we’re showing you what it was like to live in 1900.”
AW

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