Among hundreds of works of Islamic art, Cartier tiaras and necklaces sparkle with history and artistic inspiration at Cartier and Islamic art: in search of modernitynow on view at the Dallas Museum of Art until September 18.
Presenting its first in the United States in Dallas, the exhibition presents more than 400 objects from the collections of Cartier, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, the Louvre Museum, the Keir Collection of Islamic Art currently on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, and other major international collections.
“We are committed to exploring jewelry not just as a historical sign of wealth and taste, but as a reflection of a global and evolving interest in design, materials and forms,” said Dr. Agustin Arteaga, Director from Eugene McDermott to Dallas. Art Museum.
This exhibition examines the influence of Islamic art and architecture on Cartier through the cultural prism of Paris at the end of the 19and and early 20and centuries. Louis J. Cartier, a partner and eventual manager of Cartier’s Paris branch, collected Islamic art, encountering it at major exhibitions and bustling markets in Paris.
In preparation for the opening of the exhibition, Sarah Schleuning, Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art and co-curator of this exhibition, revisited her first notes on the project.
“I have a lot of things about lenses, this idea of looking through an individual like Louis Cartier, through the House, and what the perceptions are, what they saw, how we might trace and track those ideas. , these sources and how they change and then move on and shape the new works they have created,” she said.
In addition to Schleuning, the curatorial team includes Dr. Heather Ecker, former Marguerite S. Hoffman and Thomas W. Lentz Curator of Islamic and Medieval Art at the Dallas Museum of Art; Évelyn Possémé, chief curator of ancient and modern jewelery at the Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris; and Judith Hénon, curator and deputy director of the Islamic arts department at the Louvre Museum, Paris.
The conservation team had extensive access to Cartier’s extensive archives. When Cartier created its archive of antique Cartier pieces with the intention of sharing the works with the public, a guiding principle was established.
“Cartier is never the curator of its own exhibitions,” said Pierre Rainero, director of image, style and heritage at Cartier. “The idea was that only an outside eye could be at the origin of a show in a public establishment.”
With this curatorial freedom, the team explored how Islamic art and techniques have influenced the creative process at Cartier over time. The exhibit combines Cartier jewelry and design sketches with Islamic art featuring similar attributes such as shape and patterns.
“For this exhibition, what we really wanted to focus on was this idea of talking about how through time, media and geography, artists are inspired and create new ideas,” Schleuning said. . “They are always on the lookout for the most modern ideas and that is what Cartier personifies in this show. What you see are these articulations, this sort of kaleidoscope of creativity that intersects form, material, the pattern, the technique, the colors, and we keep moving that idea through the whole installation.”
Much of the planning for this exhibit happened during the pandemic, forcing the curatorial team to work over Zoom. Being able to see the objects in person is part of the power of the exhibition.
“So I wanted the show to be about objects and to have as much closeness and opportunity to see the real and understand the magic in it,” Schleuning said. “And what I hope is that people will be inspired by this chemistry.”
Diller, Scofidio + Renfro designed the exhibition with two different museums in mind. The exhibition opened last fall at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris before heading to Dallas. Compared to the contemporary white boxes of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Decorative Arts had a huge nave with several smaller galleries to the side.
“The two very, very different spaces were confusing, I have to say,” said Elizabeth Diller, Diller Partner, Scofidio + Renfro. “And then that kind of breakthrough happened: let’s just drastically change the size and scale and with that would come to see these artifacts through another lens.”
The solution was to create videos allowing visitors to step inside a jewel to see its architecture and better understand its Islamic influence. The videos are shown alongside the jewellery, giving visitors a dramatic experience of the jewellery.
“In this density of beautiful artifacts, which are rather small, how do you interrupt that in some way and create a rhythm with the possibility of this digital representation that gives you more information, different types of information, kind of a palace cleaning and a new layer of information in between,” Diller said.
From Louis Cartier’s Persian and Indian art collection to Tutti Frutti de Cartier’s iconic pieces, the exhibition shows the cyclical evolution of the creative process.
“What I hope people will come away with is this incredible idea of what it means to be inspired, to look at things, to look at things from the past, to look at ideas that continue to be filtered by other creators and how they inspire new ideas,” said Schleuning.
Learn more: https://dma.org/