DMA delves into glitzy designs with stunning ‘Cartier and Islamic Art’ exhibition

ByMary E. Alvarez

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In “Cartier and Islamic Artwork,” the museum has met the instant. That’s the Dallas Museum of Artwork, performing on its new exhibition in collaboration with luxury items maker Cartier and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

The show, which debuted in Paris and now makes Dallas its only U.S. stop, explores how the fabled French jewelry household was encouraged by and adopted kinds from Islamic artwork, architecture and structure to style its have contemporary structure design and style. The more than 400 objects on exhibit (only about 40% of it jewellery) involve parts from Cartier, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre Museum and the Keir Collection of Islamic Art on mortgage to the Dallas Museum of Art, among the other loans.

And it arrives at a unique time.

All those who survived the pandemic lockdown, bodily and fiscally, emerged with an urgent need to be bowled around, above and above all over again. Restraint would not do, no subject how tasteful.

Nor would subtlety, nevertheless chic. The craving, for numerous, was for excessive, extravagance, indulgence. The form of goods that can be resplendently yours and ours through the prism of Paris.

Cigarette case, Cartier Paris, 1930, Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, diamond. Cartier...
Cigarette case, Cartier Paris, 1930, Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, diamond. Cartier Collection.

It all began with Louis-Francois Cartier, who received begun in jewellery in 1847 in Paris. His son Alfred joined the business enterprise. So did Alfred’s sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques. They experienced a sister named Suzanne who evidently was not in the image besides to make an useful marriage for the Cartiers into an eminent haute couture loved ones, as did Louis, who grew to become his sister’s brother-in-legislation.

They have been not in contrast to the Marcuses in Dallas, wherever four brothers, named the Marci, sons of the founder, comprehended that the merchandising of attractive items at Neiman Marcus had to be designed upon magnificence alone. In truth, the present president of the DMA’s board is Catherine Marcus Rose, granddaughter of the eldest Marci, Stanley.

Louis was the Stanley Marcus of Cartier. It was he who led the flagship in Paris, dispatching his brothers to run branches in London and New York. It was Louis who, like Stanley, was a born collector.

Eye on tomorrow

Publications, photos, objets d’art — all fed his inspiration for artistic design and style that created Cartier more than a corporation. Opulent and exquisite, it also navigated the globe with an eye often on tomorrow.

Louis observed the wristwatch coming, as males grew impatient with the pocket look at. Consequently this clearly show tantalizes with the glory of its timepieces, to be worn or displayed as clocks on walls or tabletops.

He noticed women of all ages, soon to be emancipated — at the very least rather — shortening their skirts, cropping their hair and smoking cigarettes cigarettes. What adopted, of class, have been handsome cigarette cases. And not only for women of all ages. Cole Porter’s spouse, Linda, manufactured it a pattern to give her spouse a cigarette circumstance on the opening night time of each exhibit. Virtually surely some have been from Cartier.

Louis rode the wave of art nouveau, then art deco, with geometric motifs generating for a design in his jewelry a lot more linear, far more present day. He was usually “in look for of modernity,” the subtitle of the recent blockbuster at DMA.

This intended far more pendants and lengthy necklaces, not just people hugging the neck in the way of the Windsor women of all ages. Although nobody knew much better than Louis that diamonds are a girl’s most effective pal — he marketed plenty of them in tiaras, necklaces and bracelets — he nonetheless sophisticated from these great merchants of price to shade, combining sapphires and emeralds in what came to be referred to as “peacock décor,” as comprehensive in the exhibition’s splendid catalog.

Louis favored to match turquoise blue with “the flecked deep blue of lapis lazuli, [like] the hues of ceramic tiles utilized in Iranian architecture.” He reveled in Iranian architecture, Indian miniatures, Egyptian statuettes, historic Chinese jades — the extra unique, the improved — and transposed treasures from what was then named the Orient into glories to glamorize women of all ages of the West.

Installation photo of the new exhibition "Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity"...
Set up picture of the new exhibition “Cartier and Islamic Art: In Lookup of Modernity” at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Toussaint’s effect

A single of his most essential acts of genius was using the services of and advertising and marketing the flamboyant Jeanne Toussaint, as director of the S Department (S for silver and soir, or evening) and then as resourceful director of fantastic jewelry.

The Jeanne Toussaint necklace, two strands of diamonds with a formidable pendant, grew to become so renowned it was termed “the star of Ocean’s 8.″ It adorned Anne Hathaway in the 2018 film.

Enamored of Indian jewellery, Toussaint had “gemstones cut into beads and strung together,” the catalog states. Pendants grew to become easier, nevertheless lavish but often only on extended attractive chains.

Nicknamed “the panther,” Toussaint built friends with the likes of Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Gabrielle Chanel and Cristóbal Balenciaga, and she built jewellery with their dresses in mind. Her creations ended up worn by the duchess of Windsor, Barbara Hutton and Mona von Bismarck.

A gorgeous necklace in diamonds and rubies belonged, a guard told me, to Elizabeth Taylor, renowned for what she identified as her “twinklies.” This piece is surely a twinkle to finish all twinkles.

Ewer, late 10th-early 11th century, rock crystal, with enameled gold repairs and fittings by...
Ewer, late 10th-early 11th century, rock crystal, with enameled gold repairs and fittings by Jean-Valentin Morel (1794-1860), French, The Keir Collection of Islamic Artwork on bank loan to the Dallas Museum of Artwork.(Brad Bouquets)

It’s jarring to notice that in 1933, as Toussaint was using over Cartier in Paris, Hitler was coming to electricity in Berlin. Even as we luxuriate in this remarkable exhibition, female broadcasters in Afghanistan are not allowed by the Taliban to appear on display screen except they are seriously veiled, and filmmakers are beneath arrest in Iran.

However, it was after a glittering entire world, mirrored in luxurious ballet productions in Paris like Scheherazade. But even that is suspect now in its evocations, since a huge yacht named Scheherazade, maybe owned by Vladimir Putin, is stranded in a port in Italy.

That doesn’t diminish for a instant the dazzling paradise dropped — and for a moment found — mounted by architecture organization Diller Scofidio + Renfro at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A wonderful set up is a operate of artwork in alone, and this procession of galleries — dark and considerably lighted, with partitions of projected wonders — is magical.


“Cartier and Islamic Artwork: In Look for of Modernity” operates as a result of Sept. 18 at the Dallas Museum of Artwork, 1717 N. Harwood St. Open Saturday via Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Distinctive exhibition tickets are $20 for older people, $18 for seniors and armed forces, $16 for college students, and cost-free for associates and little ones less than 11. All people ought to to start with reserve a no cost basic admission ticket for the DMA on their chosen date. Reserve tickets at

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