Jewelry Exhibits

The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond

ART

Renowned for its brightly colored baubles and distinct Italian flair, the storied Italian jewery house Bulgari will share its most vibrant years in the upcoming exhibit “The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950 – 1990” at the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco beginning September 21, 2013.

'Bib' necklace, 1965 - Gold with emeralds, amethysts, turquoise, and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Bib’ necklace, 1965 – Gold with emeralds, amethysts, turquoise, and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

Approximately 150 jewels, sketches and photographs will help to paint a lively portrait of the jewelry firm largely credited with pioneering the Italian school of jewelry design.  Founded in 1884 by Greek-Italian jeweler Sotirios Vouglaris, Bulgari hit its stride during the post-war boom years in the 1950s and 60s, exuding the extravagant la dolce vita lifestyle.  With a stable of famous patrons including Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor, Bulgari’s signature style of multicolored precious gemstones in classical Greek and Roman-inspired designs offered a refreshing alternative to the Parisian jewelers’ subdued collections.

'Playing Card' sautoir, 1972 - Gold with coral, mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Playing Card’ sautoir, 1972 – Gold with coral, mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

In time, Bulgari jewels would become emblematic of the following decades with its eclectic creativity in incorporating Pop Art and other contemporary trends of the time into its jewelry designs.  Highlights of the exhibit include jewelry at the heart of Italian jewelry design as well as several pieces from the estate of Elizabeth Taylor.

Necklace, 1961 - Platinum with emeralds and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

Necklace, 1961 – Platinum with emeralds and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

'Parentesi' parure, ca. 1982 - Gold with diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Parentesi’ parure, ca. 1982 – Gold with diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

'Star Spangled Banner' earrings, ca. 1975 - Gold with coral, lapis lazuli, and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Star Spangled Banner’ earrings, ca. 1975 – Gold with coral, lapis lazuli, and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

Bracelets, 1955 and 1959 - Platinum with diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

Bracelets, 1955 and 1959 – Platinum with diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

'Playing Card' brooch, ca. 1975 - Gold with mother-of-pearl, coral, onyx and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Playing Card’ brooch, ca. 1975 – Gold with mother-of-pearl, coral, onyx and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

Sautoir, 1969 - Platinum with sapphires and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

Sautoir, 1969 – Platinum with sapphires and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

'Melone' evening bag, ca. 1972 - Gold and burnished steel with diamonds

‘Melone’ evening bag, ca. 1972 – Gold and burnished steel with diamonds

'Tubogas' choker, 1974 - Two-color gold with Greek silver coins.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

‘Tubogas’ choker, 1974 – Two-color gold with Greek silver coins. Courtesy of de Young Museum

Necklace, 1962, with pendant-brooch, 1958 - Platinum with emeralds and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum.

Necklace, 1962, with pendant-brooch, 1958 – Platinum with emeralds and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum.

Table clock, 1968 - Gold and platinum with lapis lazuli, rubies and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

Table clock, 1968 – Gold and platinum with lapis lazuli, rubies and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

Sautoir, ca. 1973 - Three-color gold with British silver coins and diamonds.  Courtesy of de Young Museum

Sautoir, ca. 1973 – Three-color gold with British silver coins and diamonds. Courtesy of de Young Museum

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Patricia Smith
    September 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I’d like to get more information about the nearest Hotel-car rental etc. so I can make accommodations to see this exhibit!
    ASAP

  • Reply
    More Jewels from “The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond” Exhibition | Jewels du Jour
    October 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    […] Now open to the public since September 21st, the exhibition “The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950 – 1990″ at the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco paints a fascinating picture of the historic Italian jewelry house through its most celebrated jewels.  I’d like to share a few more of those jewels from the exhibition in addition to those previewed in an earlier post this summer (read about the exhibition here). […]

  • Reply
    Janet Deleuse
    October 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you Natalie for this post with so many beautiful images! I’ve been inspired by Bulgari since I first started designing; my style is large colored stone jewelry–of course, I could never compare to their creativity!!

    I reposted your post on Deleuse.com to share.

    http://www.deleuse.com

    Your fan,
    Janet Deleuse

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