Richard Burton famously once said of his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, “The only word she knows in Italian is Bulgari.” As tumultuous as their relationship may have been, it also brought about Taylor’s insatiable appreciation for Bulgari jewels, leading to one very impressive collection. After her death, the Italian luxury goods company bought back many pieces from her collection, including a stunning emerald necklace and the mirror which was gifted to her by the Cleopatra crew.
Taylor’s gems are only a portion of the magic that’s come out of Bulgari when it comes to jewelry. In celebration of the forward thinking jewelry combinations, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will host The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950 – 1990, an exhibition of approximately 150 pieces, including many pieces from Taylor’s personal collection. While the immediate focus will undoubtebly be the jewelry, Bulgari will also showcase sketches, photographs, and other archival materials, “that help to reveal a fascinating intersection of celebrity, design, and fine craftsmanship.”
Focusing on four decades, the exhibit will walk guests through the influences of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Bulgari trademarked it’s penchant for mixing bold colored gemstones in the 1960s, putting stake in what would come to be known as the Italian school of jewelry design. From there, Pop Art began to influence creations from the 1970s, while the 1980s lead to a more architectural presence.
Mark your calendars now. The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950 – 1990 will be on display at the de Young Museum from September 21, 2013 through February 17, 2014.