Enrol at Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC
Get dressed for your first day of school as Van Cleef & Arpels is airlifting its world-famous Jewelry-art Institute, L’École des Arts Joailliers, to New York City.
Get dressed for your first day of school as Van Cleef & Arpels is airlifting its world-famous institute from Paris to NYC for three weeks this fall. The nomadic, hands-on approach embraced by the esteemed French school has travelled to Dubai and Hong Kong and is now finally popping up in the US. Planning to be located at the Academy Mansion, on the Upper East Side, the school will be there from 24 Oct till 9 Nov.
Open to the public, the range of classes offered by Van Cleef Arpels’ Jewelry-art Institute, L’École des Arts Joailliers, will include hands-on technical and artistic workshops, classes in gemology, and lectures in jewelry history.
One can now Enrol at Van Cleef Arpels in NYC
According to Marie Vallanet-Delhom, president of L’École des Arts Joailliers, all the school resources will be wholly transported to New York, including “a huge range of materials, jeweler’s tools, artwork, gemstones — and, of course … the teachers themselves.”
New Yorkers will have the precious chance to “put on the jeweler’s white coat, sit down at the bench, pick up the tools and try setting stones, carving wax, polishing, opening up the mises à jour [the back of settings, allowing light to shine through gems] with the hacksaw — all the while guided by a master jeweler,” promises Vallanet-Delhom.
“In this digital age, where there is such prioritizing of all that is instant, people yearn to experience slowly learned, apprentice-based arts practiced by our ancestors,” she adds. “In order for these arts to thrive, the general public needs to understand them.”
Although VCA founded the school in 2012, it’s run independently from the brand. “It’s a separate entity — we want novices and connoisseurs to experience the rich world of jewelry, not only from Van Cleef & Arpels but also from other creators and maisons,” explains Alain Bernard, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas.
Since its inception in 1906, the Parisian brand’s passion for craft has led it to sponsor numerous arts and educational projects besides this school.
In 1967, Van Cleef partnered with iconic ballet choreographer George Balanchine for a performance named “Jewels”. Inspired by VCA jewelry, the piece featured dazzlingly embellished costumes designed by the house. A more recent ballet piece VCA has collaborated with was with the Paris Opera House, titled “Reflections“.
VCA commissioned another Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project’s piece, “Gems”, in 2013. The brand still continues to support the school. Other schools that it has partnered with includes the School of American Ballet for their annual winter balls in NYC.
“ Jewelry is an elevated art form, just like dance and literature and design,” Bernard notes, “wearable pieces of art — art that adorns your own body, which makes them even more elevated in a way.”
Other sponsorships of Van Cleef Arpels include the New York Academy of Art Tribeca Ball, which raises funds for art-student scholarships; the Cooper Hewitt’s annual “Design by Hand” series of public workshops and lectures; and the Albertine Prize, supporting that beloved French bookstore on the UES.
“This sort of support is not only an incredible sense of inspiration for our creations, but it’s what we feel is a true mission and profoundly important to us,” notes Bernard.
VCA’s first venture upon the American land in 1942 was located on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, where the flagship boutique stands till to this day.
“It says a lot about our deep historical connections with the city,” says Bernard. Then, with a hopeful sigh: “One day I hope a branch of L’École des Arts Joailliers will be permanently located in New York.”
Prices of the classes will range from SGD$20 to $340.