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All That Glitters: The Allure of Classic Jewelry

All-Day Seminar

Full Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0819
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Diamonds—to say nothing of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires— have long then the best friend of fashionable women and innovative jewelry designers. Jewelry masterworks also offer a window into different cultures and raise intriguing questions about human needs, desires, status, and the fashioning of identity. Stefanie Walker, lecturer for the Smithsonian-Mason MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts, highlights the major objects, makers, and trends from the 19th century to today and investigates jewelry in a variety of contexts.

10 to 11 a.m. Origins, Materials, and Techniques.

Gems, silver, gold; tiaras, earrings, necklaces, brooches, and rings.

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Victorian Age and Belle Epoque

Influences from the Near East, India, and Japan. Revival styles: Gothic, Renaissance, and Rococo.

12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Lunch

Participants provide their own lunch.

1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Art Nouveau

Emphasis on naturalistic forms and unusual materials; Rene Lalique; the Arts and Crafts movement; Wiener Werkstaette; Louis Comfort Tiffany’s gem-studded pieces.

3 to 4:15 p.m. The Modern Era

The emergence of international companies: Faberge, Tiffany, and Cartier; Art Deco jewels; postwar pieces from Paul Flato, Fulco di Verdura, and Jean Schlumberger; 20th-century jewelry as art; Harry Winston and others.

Smithsonian Connections

To take a virtual tour of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals in the Natural History Museum, click here.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)