Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century: A Must-See Exhibit


Posted Wed, Dec 3, 2014

Tickets to Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century is on sale now. For more information visit [Photo by David Zalubowski/Associated Press]

Tickets to Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century is on sale now. For more information visit [Photo by David Zalubowski/Associated Press]

DENVER The Denver Art Museum is featuring a one-of-a-kind exhibition of Cartier jewelry and timepieces with its Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century event running from Nov. 16, 2014 – March 15, 2015. The DAM Cartier Exhibit is set to be one of the most-visited exhibitions in Denver and is a must-visit.

If you only know Cartier as synonymous with jaw-dropping jewels in impeccable settings, you will know the Maison as Brilliant. Private jet company Jet Linx Denver is the main sponsor of Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition was organized by the DAM & curated by Margaret Young-Sánchez, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator at the museum. Focused on the years 1900 – 1975, the exhibition includes an assortment of jewelry, timepieces and precious objects.

“The evolution of Cartier takes us on a journey through 20th Century history, from the era of the last czars in Russia to the Roaring ’20s in America to the onset of Hollywood glamour as we know it,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer director of the DAM. “Focusing in on the creativity and pioneering vision of the Cartier brothers and their designers, visitors walk away not only in awe of Cartier’s stunning works of art but also aware of the drastic cultural shifts that took place throughout the history of the Maison.”

The installation includes a selection of preparatory drawings, advertising materials and movie stills in addition to the precious items. It includes pieces from the Cartier Collection, as well as loans from museums and private collections.

“Many things attracted me to Cartier – their reputation for great design, their production of iconic jewels (like the Duchess of Windsor’s flamingo brooch) and the existence of a wonderful archive, with a great deal of documentation on both the firm and the products,” said Margaret Young-Sánchez. “I think Cartier’s production and history, as presented in the exhibition, mirror the ever-increasing internationalism of the 20th Century, leading right up to the cultural, political and economic globalization of today.”

Two pieces included at the exhibition are related directly to aviation: a cigarette case owned by the president of Queen Aviation and inscribed with the signatures of famous figures related to the birth of flight, and the Santos wristwatch, created for Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont.

“Must-haves for this collection included Daisy Fellowes’ tutti frutti necklace, Duchess of Windsor’s panther brooch, María Félix’s crocodile necklace and Countess Granard’s emerald necklace,” said Young-Sánchez. “Making choices was difficult, because I had my pick of a truly dazzling collection of extraordinarily high-quality objects. One choice I made, in order to give viewers a broader, more accurate view of Cartier’s production, was to include a strong selection of accessories and decorative arts objects – things like purses, gem-studded vanity and cigarette cases, a cocktail set and a marvelous mother-of-pearl inlaid lacquer cigarette box.”

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century is only on display at the Denver Art Museum from Nov. 16, 2014 to March 15, 2015. Tickets are $15 for members and start at $25 for adult non-members.

About Irma Laliashvili

Irma Laliashvili is an aspiring journalist, blogger and journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Follow Irma on Twitter or Instagram at @irmalaliashvili

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