Jewels by JAR

Jewels by JAR at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature more than 300 works by one of the most acclaimed jewelry designers of the last 35 years, Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR. The exhibition will be 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 Phaidon Press Limited, Nancy and Howard Marks, and The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation.

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 will be the first devoted to a contemporary artist of gems at the Metropolitan Museum and will feature 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.

Art scholar Adrian Sassoon writes in his essay for the exhibition’s catalogue: “Rosenthal the artist honors his materials…a unique JAR jewel is intended to make the new owner feel special, to share in the experience of having something of nature transformed.”

Exhibition Opening

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

  • Where: 

    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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