Twenty Mind-Blowing Jewels by JAR

November 22, 2013 Cheryl Kremkow Jewelry Design Tags: , , 3 Comments

Butterfly wall at Jewels by Jar retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.

The dragonfly shimmers in the light, iridescent wings poised in mid-flight. His wings are opals and garnets, sapphires and tourmalines, his body carved jadeite. The butterflies next to him are shimmering with delicately shaded fancy colored diamonds.

The world’s most exotic flock of jeweled insects is one of the highlights of Jewels by JAR, a retrospective of 400 pieces from the last 35 years of the reclusive jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from November 20, 2014 until March 9, 2014.

JAR is the wizard of his own gem Oz. He works in private, sells by invitation only, and rarely allows a glimpse behind the curtain. That’s why this exhibit is so startling. The pieces so familiar from photographs are so large, so dazzling, so dimensional, that they seem like fairy-tale props. A lilac brooch is ten inches high and six inches across. Bracelets twist around the wrist and sprout improbable ruby and diamond petalled tulips. A pave orange peel will permanently change the way you look at the fruit.

When asked to choose a favorite piece, curator Jane Adlin refused. “Not only do I not have one favorite piece, but I tried to make a top 10 list in my head and I couldn’t stop at 10. I would be shocked if anyone could have a favorite piece. I wouldn’t believe them.”

She’s absolutely right. I tried for a top ten but couldn’t post fewer than 20. I lied. I posted 21. I probably could have posted all butterflies: there were so many lovely ones I couldn’t capture with a camera. And I found myself adding a more images on Pinterest and  Instagram. Argue with me about how some of those pieces deserve to be in the top twenty too (because of course you are right.)

Dragonfly brooch by JAR, jade, sapphire, opal, tourmaline, garnet, diamond, silver, and gold, 1996. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Dragonfly brooch by JAR, jade, sapphire, opal, tourmaline, garnet, diamond, silver, gold, 1996. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Capillary Fern Brooch by Jar, diamond, garnet, silver, and gold, 1999. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Capillary Fern Brooch by JAR, diamond, garnet, silver, gold, 1999. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Branch Bracelet by JAR, diamond, silver, platinum, 2010. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Branch Bracelet by JAR, diamond, silver, platinum, 2010. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Orange Peel Brooch by JAR, garnet, diamond, enamel, silver, gold, 2001. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow, cherylkremkow.com.
Orange Peel Brooch by JAR, garnet, diamond, enamel, silver, gold, 2001. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Poppy Brooch, diamond, tourmaline, and gold, 1982. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Poppy Brooch, diamond, tourmaline, and gold, 1982. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Snowflake Brooch by JAR, diamond, platinum, silver, gold, 2002. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Snowflake Brooch by JAR, diamond, platinum, silver, gold, 2002. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Tulip Brooch by JAR, rubies, diamonds, pink sapphires, garnets, silver gold and enamel, 2008.
Tulip Brooch by JAR, rubies, diamonds, pink sapphires, garnets, silver gold and enamel, 2008.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, sapphire, fire opal, ruby, amethyst, garnet, diamond, silver and gold, 1994. Photo by Katharina Faerber, courtesy of JAR.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, sapphire, fire opal, ruby, amethyst, garnet, diamond, silver and gold, 1994. Photo by Katharina Faerber, courtesy of JAR.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, diamond, aluminum, gold, silver, 2013. Photo by Jozsef Tari, courtesy of JAR.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, diamond, aluminum, gold, silver, 2013. Photo by Jozsef Tari, courtesy of JAR.
Lilac brooches by JAR, diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold, 2001. Photo by Jozsef Tari, courtesy of JAR.
Lilac brooches by JAR, diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold, 2001. Photo by Jozsef Tari, courtesy of JAR.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, diamond, platinum, gold, 1990. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, diamond, platinum, gold, 1990. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, ruby, sapphire, silver, gold, 2005. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Butterfly Brooch by JAR, ruby, sapphire, silver, gold, 2005. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Rose Brooch by JAR, ruby, sapphire, spinel, diamond, silver, gold, 2013. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Rose Brooch by JAR, ruby, sapphire, spinel, diamond, silver, gold, 2013. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Bursting Heart Brooch by JAR, diamond, ruby, silver, gold, 1995. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Bursting Heart Brooch by JAR, diamond, ruby, silver, gold, 1995.
Earrings by JAR, beetle wings, emerald, tsavorite garnet, diamond, silver, platinum, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Earrings by JAR, beetle wings, emerald, tsavorite, diamond, silver, platinum, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Morning Glory Bracelets by JAR, diamond, sapphire, garnet, platinum, silver, gold, 2013.
Morning Glory Bracelets by JAR, diamond, sapphire, garnet, platinum, silver, gold, 2013.
Rutilated Quartz Butterfly Brooch by JAR, quartz, diamond, silver, gold, 2008. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Rutilated Quartz Butterfly Brooch by JAR, quartz, diamond, silver, gold, 2008. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Ribbon Pendant Earrings by JAR, diamond, silver, gold, 2005. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Ribbon Pendant Earrings by JAR, diamond, silver, gold, 2005.
Mughal Ring by JAR, ruby, oriental pearl, diamond, silver, gold, 2008. Owned by Stephanie Seymour.
Mughal Ring by JAR, ruby, oriental pearl, diamond, silver, gold, 2008. Owned by Stephanie Seymour.
Bonnet Ring by JAR, opal, emerald, diamond, platinum, gold, 2013. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Bonnet Ring by JAR, opal, emerald, diamond, platinum, gold, 2013.
 Diamond Necklace with Pendant Ring by JAR, diamond and platinum, 1999. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.
Five-Row Diamond Necklace with Pendant Ring by JAR, diamond and platinum, 1999. Photo by Cheryl Kremkow.

3 Comments

  1. Marla Aaron 4 years Reply

    The photos are astonishing and I can’t wait to go. The beetle wing earrings brought tears to my eyes. Literally.

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