The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990
"Bib" necklace, 1965. Gold with emeralds, amethysts, turquoise, and diamonds. 39 x 6 cm. Formerly in the collection of Lyn Revson. Bulgari Heritage Collection, inv. 401 N565
"I always visit Bulgari because it is the most important museum of contemporary art."
– Andy Warhol
SAN FRANCISCO (May 13, 2013)—The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950–1990, an exhibition of approximately 150 pieces created by the renowned Italian jeweler over four decades. This exclusive exhibition will highlight jewelry that defined a pivotal period in Italian design, and will include many pieces from the personal collection of Elizabeth Taylor. The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 will be on display at the de Young Museum from September 21, 2013 through February 17, 2014.
Bulgari notably began to create its own trademark in jewelry in the 1960s by embracing boldly-colored combinations of gemstones, use of heavy gold, and forms derived from Greco-Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and the 19th-century Roman school of goldsmiths. The company helped to develop a look that would come to be known as the “Italian school” of jewelry design. Pieces in the exhibition display the jeweler’s eclectic creativity and invention during this period.
Works in the exhibition also include those from the 1970s and 80s, a particularly innovative period for the jeweler and one influenced by Pop Art and other contemporary trends. "The hard-edged designs of the 1970s included a whole range based on the Stars-and-Stripes motif, while in the 1980s the Parentesi collection had a smoother, modular, almost architectural presence; both show how the jeweler could lead in new directions with a strong sense of design,” said Martin Chapman, curator in charge of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Bulgari’s successful cultivation of prominent patrons and movie stars like Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, and perhaps most notably, Elizabeth Taylor, has long been a key aspect of the jeweler’s reputation. To help explore the cultural context in which these objects were made, the exhibition will include innovative uses of sketches, photographs, and other archival materials that help to reveal a fascinating intersection of celebrity, design, and fine craftsmanship.
The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 continues the Fine Arts Museums’ strong track record of exhibitions highlighting the work of decisive figures and movements in the world of fashion and design including: Cartier in America, Balenciaga and Spain, Yves Saint Laurent and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, among others.
de Young Museum
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30 am–5:15 pm
Friday (March 29–November 29, 2013) 9:30 am–8:45 pm
Closed Mondays (except November 11, December 23 and 30, 2013; January 20 and February 17, 2014)
Admission: $20-$22 adults; $17-$19 seniors; $16-$18 college students with ID; $10-$12 youths 6–17. (These prices include general admission.) Members and children 5 and under are free. General admission is free the first Tuesday of every month.
Tickets can be purchased on site and on the de Young’s website: deyoungmuseum.org. Tickets purchased online include a $1 handling charge.
Group ticket reservations available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.
The de Young is housed in a copper-clad landmark building designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. It showcases the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; art from Oceania, Africa, and the Americas; a diverse collection of costumes and textiles; and international contemporary art.
The Legion of Honor’s Beaux-Arts style building designed by George Applegarth is located on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its collections span 4,000 years and include European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.
Today part of the LVMH Group, Bulgari was founded in Rome in 1884 as a jewelry shop and progressively imposed itself with its magnificent jewelry creations, emblems of Italian excellence. International success made the Company evolve into its current dimension as a global and diversified player in the luxury market, with a store network in the most exclusive shopping areas worldwide and a portfolio of products and services ranging from jewels and watches to accessories, perfumes and hotels.