Exhibition Practical! at the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt

10/05/2019 > 11/08/2019

Jewellery from Jugendstil to Art Déco

Fashionable jewellery conceived for everyday use during the first three decades of the 20th century ranged from the simple to the extravagant, but it was always original and creative. Even more so than at present, there was a considerable difference between jewellery for daytime use and the more representative evening wear. While resplendent pieces with diamonds and precious stones were fashionable in the evening, the rule ‘No diamonds before 6pm’ was valid for daytime events. Countless variations of this theme emerged. Silver was the preferred material, sometimes gold, set with semiprecious stones. Accordingly less expensive to manufacture and purchase, the pendants, brooches and bracelets worn by fashionable ladies during the day provided an extensive playing field for innovative solutions and the artistic implementation of new Jugendstil and Art déco stylistic influences.

One can dream of Fabergé and Cartier, but of greater interest is the jewellery that one can really wear oneself. Encompassing over 400 pieces from Germany and Austria in particular, the show animates viewers to explore the world of jewellery design of the early 20th century and discover how modern and fashionable many of the pieces still appear today. A century ago, they put the final touches on the dresses and suits worn by our great-great-grandmothers – today, we can easily imagine combining them with sweaters and jeans today. These examples from the history of design have lost nothing of their innovative freshness!

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Picture: Poster motif for the exhibition “Practical! Jewelery from Art Nouveau to Art Déco” © hlmd. Design: BOROS