This exhibition features more than four hundred works by one of the most acclaimed jewelry designers of the twentieth century, Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR.
Born in New York and educated at Harvard, Rosenthal moved to Paris soon after his graduation in 1966 and began to experiment with jewelry making. JAR opened in 1978 on the Place Vendôme—the same space he occupies today. Very early in his career, Rosenthal revealed his superb sense of color, whether in the hue of an exotic violet sapphire, the shimmer of topaz and ruby, or the simple clarity of a perfect diamond. His works quickly became known for their unique design, the quality of their stones, and their remarkable craftsmanship, but above all for their fearless beauty. He is known for his pavé technique—the setting of small stones so close together that they appear as a continuous surface of jewels—and uses subtle gradations of color to create a painterly effect.
The exhibition is the first devoted to a contemporary artist of gems at the Metropolitan Museum and features a selection of JAR's finest pieces—from jewels in classical flower forms and organic shapes to witty objets d'art—all executed with the most exquisite gem stones including diamonds, sapphires, garnets, topazes, tourmalines, and citrines in an original combination of colors. Rosenthal's one-of-a-kind creations place him among the ranks of history's greatest jewelers.
The exhibition is the first retrospective of his work in America; the only other major exhibition of Rosenthal's work was held in 2002 at Somerset House in London.
The exhibition is made possible by Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, Phaidon Press Ltd, Nancy and Howard Marks, The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, Agnes Gund, Mr. and Mrs. George S. Livanos, and Hilary and Wilbur Ross.