Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Minaudière by CHANEL, ca. 2012. Courtesy of Chanel.

The minaudière, a term coined by Estelle Arpels (wife of Alfred van Cleef, founder of the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels), entered both women’s vocabulary and their wardrobes in the 1930s.  Irresistibly handy, and literally made to fit in the palm of one’s hand, the minaudière, a small-scale handbag or clutch, was a clever upgrade […]

Daniel Brush. Bowl with golden butterflies. © Thomaï Serdari.

Luxury is the opposite of anarchy. If anarchy defies organization, luxury welcomes it. If anarchy rejects stratification, luxury aspires to it. Anarchy objects to commitment, luxury stems from it. And while absence of luxury does not lead to anarchy, anarchy is prohibitive to luxury. In an art system that is highly organized and somewhat predictable, […]

Courtesy of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Organizing the exhibition “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels,” (February 18- July 4, 2011) must have been a delight for Sarah D. Coffin, Head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts Department at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Who would not want to have to select among hundreds of precious objects (jewelry, […]