Article and photos by Andrea de Gosztonyi (jewelry photos courtesy of Boucheron, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)
Love is set in white, yellow and pink gold with blue, pink and yellow sapphires, emeralds and diamonds
Kooza is set in pink gold with pink and yellow sapphires and diamonds
There is a new temporary exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in Montreal, Canada, Inspiria: How Cirque du Soleil Inspired the House of Boucheron to Create a Collection of Luxury Jewellery. Some are also calling it the Clown Jewels. Guy Laliberté, the founder and chief executive officer of the internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, and the well established high fashion jewelery house Boucheron based on the Place Vendome in Paris, France have come together to present a collection of 20 necklaces that are presently on display at the museum. Each necklace was conceived to represent one of twenty Cirque du Soleil shows on tour such as Love (see Cirque du Soleil ‘Vegas show fun and Cirque du Solei The Beatles Love) and Corteo (see Italian themed Cirque show delightful). Rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds are only some of the stones used to create this stunning collection.
The museum devoted a separate gallery to the exhibit of these fine jewels. The display counters unfold like a magnificent ribbon winding down from the ceiling and flowing across the room. Encased in sunken boxes, each necklace is described with a text explaining how the jewelers were inspired by that particular show. Suspended above each necklace is a video clip of the show represented by the necklace. Brilliant craftsmanship, flowing shapes and movements are reflected in both works. Gouache drawings of each necklace are displayed on the walls. I found it fascinating to see the transformation from drawing to actual object. There is also a short video on the selection of jewels and the actual fabrication of the necklaces from sketch to finished product.
Guy Laliberté, founder and CEO, Cirque du Soleil
Exceptionally two sets of each necklace were made. One set remains in the private collection of Guy Laliberté and the other collection, presently on display, is for sale. Another first for this collaboration is the fact that some of the profit from the sale of the jewelery will go to the One Drop Foundation, a charity founded by Guy Laliberté to ensure that everyone across the planet has access to clean water now and in the future.
O Necklace set in white gold with a pear shaped diamond, pave diamonds, blue and purple sapphires and rubies
Boucheron, founded in Paris in 1858 by Frédéric Boucheron, has been jeweler to courtesans and kings, maharajahs and czars. The company rose to prominence during the Art Déco period in Europe and its jewelers have been creators of luxurious jewelery ever since. Jean Christophe Bedos, president, House of Boucheron attended the exhibit opening. Cirque du Soleil is well known for spectacular shows with acrobatics, costumes and original music.
Jean Christophe Bedos, president, House of Boucheron
As an admirer of fine jewelery I thought the free-admission exhibition was well worth the visit. This collection exhibit coincides with the 25 anniversary of Cirque du Soleil and the opening of its new show Totem scheduled to open April 22, 2010 and run through June 27, 2010 at Le Grand Chapiteau (the Big Tent) in Old Montreal. Montreal, the home base for Cirque du Soleil, is a fitting location for the opening exhibition of Inspiria inspired by the Cirque shows. See it at the Jean Noel Desmarais Pavilion of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in Montreal Quebec, Canada (514-285-5000, 1-800-899-MUSE, www.mbam.qc.ca) until August 29, 2010.