Thursday, January 16, 2014

Simply Stunningly Beautiful: "Jewels by JAR" at the MET

Carmellia Bracelet, 1995. As part of the exhibit "Jewels by JAR" at the MET.

On January 9th, 2014, after the freezing weather, I went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the JAR exhibit.  I had absolutely no expectation of this new exhibition, which I found out through Instagram last year. I had never heard of JAR before, but I knew at some point I wanted to see this show. Originally planning to go to another museum, my friend and I decided last minute to see this exhibit.  I had no idea what I was about to see.
Bracelet. "Jewels by JAR" at the MET

Located in the "Modern and Contemporary Art" Galleries section of this enormous institution, "Jewels by JAR" (featuring over 300 pieces) is one of the most exciting, stunning, and simply beautiful jewelry exhibitions that I have ever seen in a few months. I was in shock the whole time.  Everywhere I looked, there was a spectacular piece after the other.

Joel A. Rosenthal, known as JAR, is an American Jeweler who creates beautiful works of art in Paris. Elements of nature such as animals, trees, flowers, lighting, the sea, among others, are vibrantly present in his work. Something very interesting about his jewelry is his incorporation of multiple usual and unusual materials into his work.  He uses many different types of metal including titanium, gemstones including rubies and emeralds, Lapis Lazuli, and wood.  I felt identified with his work after noticing the similarities between our unique voices. I create jewelry, I absolutely love using many different materials in my own artwork (although these do not include gemstones yet), creating complex and detailed one-of-a-kind pieces, and using elements of nature.  I had never seen his work before (or maybe I did without knowing), but it felt so familiar to me, so fresh, so new, so inspiring.  Definitely, a great contemporary artist.

Rose Bracelet, 1993. "Jewels by JAR" at the MET.

Although it is his first exhibition in the United States, it has already created some controversy over the "boundaries" between "art and commerce," as explained in Robin  Pogrebin's NY Times article, in which it is discussed the one day trunk show that was made in support of the museum among other questions that are raised.  I live it up to you to make your own conclusions on the article.

Going back to the exhibition: This is a MUST SEE!

"Jewels by JAR" will be on view until March 9th, 2014 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  For more information on this exhibit, go to

Check out a few more photos below:

Elephant Head Brooch, 2013. "Jewels by JAR" at the MET.  Photo by Lina Tobierre.

From Left to Center: Moon and Star Box, 2012 and Pillow Box, 2002. "Jewels by JAR."

Necklace. "Jewels by JAR" at the MET.

This is the first post of 2014! Until Next Time on A+F by AM.

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