Hidden Gems

The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates the bespoke jewels of Joel Arthur Rosenthal

Poppy Brooch, 1982

“You’ll be good at this, because you don’t know any of the rules,” an established jeweler told Joel Arthur Rosenthal when he opened his Parisian atelier with his partner, Pierre Jeannet, in 1978. Designing under his initials, JAR, the Bronx-born Rosenthal has since crafted bespoke pieces of such exceptional quality that, on November 20, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is unveiling its first ever exhibition devoted to a contemporary gem artist. “Jewels by JAR” (through March 9) will showcase more than 300 glorious baubles, among them his Poppy brooch, a pair of lilac brooches featuring 21,000 stones, as well as a tulip brooch designed to sit atop the wearer’s shoulder. JAR’s trademarks—audacious color, painstaking pavé, “reverse-mounted” diamonds—have long been known to such stylish fans as Marella Agnelli and Diane von Furstenberg, who calls him “the Fabergé of our time.” Now it’s our turn to be dazzled.

Photos: Hidden Gems

Cameo and Rose Petal Brooch, 2011

Lilac Brooches, 2001

Poppy Brooch, 1982