Famous for his inventive interpretations of animal and botanical subjects, artist-jeweler Jean Schlumberger (1907–1987) played a key role in 20th-century fashion with his vibrant sculptural designs for whimsical jewelry and accessories. After beginning his career crafting costume jewelry for designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1930s Paris, Schlumberger opened his own private salon at Tiffany & Co. in the mid-1950s and began attracting celebrity clients, including Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Jacqueline Kennedy.
This stylish catalogue presents highlights from the unrivaled collection of Schlumberger’s work given to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by horticulturist, philanthropist, and longtime supporter of the museum Rachel Lambert Mellon. Both commissioned and collected by Mrs. Mellon, these magnificent cigarette cases, pill boxes, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, and objets d’art celebrate the shared passions that united artist and patron: love of nature, dedication to perfection and beauty, and clarity of vision.
Kristie Couser was formerly curatorial assistant for the Mellon Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is currently curatorial assistant for works on paper at the Clark Art Institute.
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg