The Exhibition

The Exhibition

Van Cleef & Arpels
Time, Nature, Love

The exhibition held at Palazzo Reale in Milan displays more than 400 jewelry creations, watches and precious objects produced since the Maison was founded in 1906. Archival documents, sketches and gouache designs illustrate the first steps in the creative process.


Curator Alba Cappellieri has drawn inspiration from Italo Calvino’s essay Six Memos for the Next Millenium, to conceive the key concepts of the exhibition which revolves around 3 sections: Time, Nature and Love.


In a contemporary scenography by American designer Johanna Grawunder, the different rooms open the gate to Van Cleef & Arpels’ enchanting universe and know how.

Scenography Johanna Grawunder
Scenography Johanna Grawunder
Scenography Johanna Grawunder
© Photo. Santi Caleca — Van Cleef & Arpels, 2019

Joint interview with Alba Cappellieri, Curator of the “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition.

Alba Cappellieri, how did you go about choosing the title of the exhibition, “Time, Nature, Love,” and thus the three main themes that structure the journey?

I consider Time, Nature and Love to be the most important and most representative values of life and consequently of the objects that accompany our daily lives. Unfortunately, such values are not very easy to find in jewelry because jewelry is always in balance between eternity and ephemeral, tradition and fashion, love and investment, beauty and concept, nature and fiction. High Jewelry indulges in a timeless dimension, uninterested in the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. This does not apply to Van Cleef & Arpels, which has always had a strong focus on time. This exhibition will demonstrate its ability to represent a fragmented period like the 20th century and its aporiae, the capacity to epitomize the eternal values of beauty, and, at the same time, the fleeting power of seduction.

Through the Maison’s creations, nature becomes art, in terms of gems and craftsmanship, but also as a humanistic attitude towards harmony. For me, love is the most powerful energy in the world, and every piece of jewelry is crafted with love. Moreover, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry influenced some of the most legendary love stories of the 20th century with its symbols and gifts of love. For the very first time, I find seminal values as Time, Nature and Love all together in a single jewelry Maison, and studying its extraordinary history and heritage far exceeded my expectations.

Book a guided tour

Are you ready to explore the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition? The Maison will propose free educational guided tours to the visitors. The tours will take place over the weekend and will be available in Italian, English, Chinese and other languages upon request.

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Visit the exhibition “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” and deep dive into the universe of the High Jewelry Maison, with comments and anecdotes on more than 30 pieces among all pieces presented.