The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) will be the only North American venue for an exhibit titled “Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity,” which opens May 14 and runs through September 18.
The exhibition will trace Cartier’s inspirations in Islamic art and design. It will include Louis Cartier’s collection of Persian and Indian art and the work of Cartier designers from the early 20th century to the present day. It brings together more than 400 objects from the collections of Cartier, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Louvre Museum, the Keir collection of Islamic art and other major international collections.
Cartier and Islamic art: in search of modernity explores how Cartier designers have adapted the forms and techniques of Islamic art, architecture and jewelry, as well as materials from India, Iran and Arab lands, to create jewelry and art objects in a modern stylistic language unique to Cartier.
“For more than a century, Cartier and its designers have recognized and celebrated the inherent beauty and symbolic values of Islamic art and architecture, incorporating similar elements into their own creations,” said Agustín Arteaga, DMA director. “Not only does this exhibition offer our audience the opportunity to explore Cartier’s dazzling creations, it also highlights the strength of our Islamic Art and Decorative Arts and Design departments, as well as those of our colleagues from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Louvre.”
“It was an extraordinary experience to discover a story about modern design rooted in the active engagement of Cartier designers with stunning works of art and intricate architecture from Islamic lands,” added Heather Ecker, DMA curator of the Islamic art and medieval art. “Sometimes these works have been experienced through the mediation of publications of models and examples from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Cartier’s jewelry and adorned objects have an unmistakable style and sense of taste that has been cultivated, in part, through this aesthetic appreciation and study of Islamic art.
The exhibition explores the origins of Islamic influence on Cartier through the cultural context of Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and through Louis J. Cartier (1875-1942), partner and eventual director of the Parisian branch of Cartier, and collector of Islamic art.
During this time, Louis Cartier and his designers began experimenting with new modes of design, turning to Japanese textiles, Chinese jade, Indian jewelry, and the arts and architecture of the Islamic world to develop the “garland style” which had brought success. home in the early 20th century, museum officials said in a statement. Louis Cartier’s own collection of Persian and Indian paintings, manuscripts, and other luxuries also served as inspiration for these new designs, and together these influences would be key in the development of the Art Deco style at Cartier.
The exhibition features Cartier jewelry and luxury items alongside historic photographs, design drawings, archival documents and works of Islamic art, including works bearing designs believed to be part of the lexicon of forms of Cartier. Digital recreations of notebooks and sketchbooks from Cartier’s archives provide insight into the French luxury brand’s creative process. This includes the various forms of Cartier jewelry and art objects that have been adapted from Islamic sources, including geometric forms (polygons and stars), naturalistic forms (vine scrolls, split palmettes and animals) and Chinese motifs (cloud collars and interlocking shapes) which were naturalized in Islamic lands.
Sources of material and technical inspiration derived from the travels of Louis’s youngest brother, Jacques, to India and Bahrain in the early 20th century enabled Cartier to import new materials, including carved emeralds and other stones. multicolored engraved precious stones. Findings from these travels stimulated the use of new color combinations drawn from Islamic sources, one of the most distinctive aspects of early 20th-century house designs. They also inspired the use of new techniques, notably Cartier’s signature “Tutti Frutti” style.
The exhibition traces each of these stylistic developments, links them to actual or probable Islamic sources, and reveals the expertise of Cartier’s jewelers and how they combined these influences to create some of the brand’s most renowned and recognizable styles. luxury today.