My take home pieces

October 28, 2008

Artistic Luxury is open, the exhibition is full of people, and as I’ve wandered through the galleries evesdropping, listening to how much everyone loves my exhibition, I’ve noticed a growing trend. Patrons are picking their favorite “take home piece.” In other words, a hypothetical piece they fall in love with and would take home if they could, without security and the law in tow.

Joining in the fun, I’ve picked three take home pieces. Hey, I’m the curator, I can do what I want.

Take home piece #1 – The Adam’s Vase.

Adam's Vase, c. 1893-95, Tiffany & Co., The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Adam's Vase, c. 1893-95, Tiffany & Co., The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Adam’s Vase (c. 1893-95) was designed by Paulding Farnham of Tiffany & Co. and created from American gold (nearly 23 pounds), gemstones (pearls, amethysts, garnets and tourmalines) and mineral specimens (gold-bearing quartz, rock crystal and petrified wood). The vase was displayed at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair as the crowning achievement of Tiffany & Co.

Take home piece #2 – Kelch Rocaille Egg.

The Kelch Eggs, done by the House of Fabergé for heiress Barbara Kelch, were Easter eggs meant to compete with the Imperial eggs (also done by Fabergé) for the Russian Tsar. Said to be gifts of Alexander Kelch (Barbara’s husband), Barbara Kelch actually purchased her own Easter eggs from the House of Fabergé each year for seven years.

Take home piece #3 – Jester Hand Mirror.

The Jester Hand Mirror (c. 1898-1900) by René Lalique shows a mocking jester confronting the user of the hand mirror, while stag beetles proclaim the true beauty of the beholder on the reverse. Lalique’s repertoire of subject matter ran the gammet from flora and fauna to the human form.

For more on why these pieces are my take homes and visuals, watch my video blogs for more curatorial insight.

Now what are you waiting for? Come to Artistic Luxury and pick your own take home piece, just don’t actually take it home of course.



Ok, the exhibition is open. People are lining up to see the fruits of my labor. And you may be asking yourself…just how can I take home a piece of this show?

Well, if you have a few thousand dollars to spare, a Russell Trusso original is available for you in the museum store. And if you don’t have that kind of cash stashed in a tin box under the rose bushes, you can check out the fabulous Mr. Trusso (and myself) in person.

One-of-a-kind pieces from Russell Trusso

One-of-a-kind pieces from Russell Trusso

I personally invite you to attend my Artistic’s Dialogue featuring local jewelry designer Russell Trusso, 1 p.m., Sunday, October 26 at the museum. This free Actors Studio type of discussion provides a unique opportunity to hear how the master artists featured in Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique have directly influenced this renowned local artist’s work.

Russell Trusso, a former Cleveland Clinic neuroanesthesiologist, is known for his breathtaking botanical-themed necklaces, earrings and brooches. Inspired by his love of nature’s beauty, the bold creations are distinguised by their delicate and feminine qualities. Russell uses pearls, diamonds and gemstones to create these exquisite pieces.

His pieces sell for thousands and have been featured in Time, W and countless other publications. Come spend a Sunday afternoon wrapped in luxury and see just what may inspire you.



Crunch time!

October 16, 2008

There are four days left to put all the final touches on Artistic Luxury before it opens on October 19, and you all come to see it. Needless to say…it’s crunch time at CMA.

I am so excited to finally get to show you the fabulous, gorgeous, amazing, breath-taking (the list goes on and on) pieces that I have been collecting for Artistic Luxury.

But being as busy as these last days are, I’m going to borrow a trick that teachers sometimes use before holiday breaks and summer vacation when they have tasks to finish — showing movies, or in my case short clips that take you behind-the-scenes of Artistic Luxury as I prepare for the opening this Sunday.

I expect to see you all there!


The Imperial Blue Serpent Egg was unveiled yesterday in New York to a great response. Thank you to everyone who made this day happen. Below are some images from the event.

Check out the Egg in person when Artistic Luxury opens this Sunday!


Finally, I no longer have to hold my breath. I must apologize to all of you (I believe I’m up to 15 fans now). I’ve been keeping a secret from all of you…and now I can finally share with you one of the stars of Artistic Luxury.

I present to you the Imperial Blue Serpent Egg!

Imperial Blue Serpent Egg, c. 1887, House of Fabergé, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

Imperial Blue Serpent Egg, c. 1887, House of Fabergé, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

One of only 54 Imperial Easter Eggs that Fabergé produced for the Russian court, the Imperial Blue Serpent Egg was presented to Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1887 as an Easter gift from her husband Alexander III. Made of gold, diamonds, sapphires, blue guilloché and white opalescent enamel, the Egg doubles as a working clock with a serpent’s diamond tongue marking time (By the way, you can’t buy that at Target).

The Egg entered the Princely Collection of Monaco in 1974, as a gift to Prince Rainier III in honor of his Silver Jubilee — the 25th anniversary of his accession to the Grimaldi throne. The Blue Serpent Egg quickly became one of Princess Grace’s most treasured possessions, according to his Serene Highness Prince Albert II, son of Prince Ranier and Princess Grace. She adored it and kept it on the desk in her private study. After her tragic death in 1982, Prince Rainier sealed her suite, preserving the room as a memorial and thereby keeping the Blue Serpent Egg from public view.

Want to see the Blue Serpent Egg in person? Visit the exhibition when it opens on October 19 at CMA – it may be your only chance to see this treasure. It will truly take your breath away.