Jean Schlumberger, designer (French, 1907–1987); Tiffany & Co., manufacturer (American, founded 1837) Jasmine Necklace
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon
Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The latest exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts showcase the glitz and glam of jewelry designs by famed French jewelry designer, Jean Schlumberger, who is best known for his work at Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger was a master at using nature, and his exotic travels as inspiration for the bright, colorful jewelry designs, that were both whimsical and elegant. Many stylish women including Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Gloria Vanderbilt, Elizabeth Taylor and of course, Bunny Mellon, were drawn to Schlumberger’s creative and stunning designs.

Jewels of the Imagination: Radiant Masterworks by Jean Schlumberger from the Mellon Collection include, 135 pieces from the personal collection of philanthropist and art collector, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. The companion exhibition, Drawn to Beauty: The Art and Atelier of Jean Schlumberger, was created by curators at the MFA to explore Schlumberger’s process as an artist and designer, while offering insight into his relationships with the jet set. The exhibition, which features sketches, photographs, objets d’art and personal items belonging to the artist, also includes jewelry from the Tiffany & Co. archives and from private collections.

The two exhibitions showcase mid-century elegance from Jean Schlumberger. “These combined exhibitions offer a never-before look at the work and life of a man, who is recognized as one of the most important jewelry designers of the 19th and 20th centuries,” explained Stanton Thomas, MFA’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. “Style icons like Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, were drawn to Schlumberger’s bold imagination and designs, and many had close friendships with the designer.  Several of the pieces of jewelry have never been on view to the public and we are thrilled to be able to present this experience to the Tampa Bay area, as the only location these exhibitions are on view in the U.S.”

The two exhibitions will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts through March 31, 2019. Museum of Fine Arts is located in downtown St. Petersburg. For more information call 727.896.2667 or visit www.mfastpete.org.