WAG jumped at the chance to attend the press preview for New York City Jewelry Week (NYCJW) the city’s first and only week dedicated to promoting the world of jewelry.
The week will feature exhibitions and curator tours, pop-up shops and lectures, open studios, installations, demonstrations and more Nov. 12-18.
We introduced NYCJW here earlier – and, since then, it’s only continued to grow. Its offerings now number some 90 across the city and beyond, including those at the Katonah Museum of Art where “Outrageous Ornament: Extreme Jewelry in the 21stCentury” continues.
The preview was held Oct. 25 at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts on its own opening day at Academy Mansion on the Upper East Side.
The morning began with a private tour of L’ÉCOLE, where we toured its three exhibitions and also got to peek into its classrooms. Now through Nov. 9, the Paris-based school – supported by Van Cleef & Arpels – will operate in New York, offering courses, talks and free-of-charge exhibitions.
Jewelry lovers will want to be sure to visit the elegant mansion to see those exhibitions. “Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks Exhibition” focuses on the contemporary work of the New York-based artist; “Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur” offers a glimpse into what clearly is a stunning collection assembled by an anonymous New York City resident; and finally, a tour through history is taken via “The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King.”
Following our fast-paced tour, the group settled into a sunny room to hear all about NYCJW from the event’s co-founders Bella Neyman and JB Jones along with event partners including international fashion industry consultant Fern Mallis; Commissioner of New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin; Director of the Jewelry Center at the 92nd Street Y Jonathan Wahl; and Museum of Arts and Design curator Barbara Paris Gifford, previously featured in WAG.
Though there are jewelry weeks around the world, this will, surprisingly, be the first for the city.
As Neyman, an independent curator and writer, noted, “At some point, I realized, ‘Why isn’t this happening in New York?’”
The enthusiasm, NYCJW founders said, has been widespread, as reflected by the speakers.
Mallis, who founded what is now known as the prestigious New York Fashion Week, said, “I hope New York City Jewelry Week will be the same – a game changer.”
It was clear NYCJW connected with Mallis, draped in an array of necklaces, on a personal level, as well.
“I have more jewelry than I know what to do with. It’s an addiction. I think we all have it,” she said, eliciting more than a few laughs and knowing nods.
Again touching on the enduring lure – and meaning – of jewelry, Menin, of the Mayor’s Office, followed her first remarks – “On behalf of The City we could not be more pleased that you brought this incredible creation to New York.” – with words about her mother, a painter, sculptor and jewelry artist.
“Although she is no longer with us, I try to wear one of her pieces every day,” she said, to more than a few nods, too.
WAG’s already signed up for a handful of events and plans to catch a number of the exhibitions.
Stay tuned for coverage, including our first look of “Jewelry: The Body Transformed”
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening Nov. 12 and advanced in our September fashion-themed issue. We’ll also report on a curator-led tour of “Focus: Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry” at the Neue Galerie. Led by Janis Staggs, the Nov. 14 event will offer a specialized look into a topic previously featured in WAG.
Frankly, we cannot wait for it all to start – and once you take a look at the NYCJW schedule, we’re sure you will be filling your calendar, too.
– Mary Shustack