Last updateWed, 19 Jun 2019 1am

Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection on display at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Paula BaianaiBaianai, Paula Crevoshay, 2018. Cognac and white diamond, aquamarine, opal, and gold. Courtesy of Crevoshay Studio

December 7, 2018 through May 12, 2019

(LOS ANGELES) - The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) presents Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection, an exhibition that explores the art and science behind jewelry designer Paula Crevoshay’s sparkling creations, from mineral to gem to jewel.

Accompanied by loose gems and minerals from the Museum’s collections, Art of the Jewel features over 50 dazzling pieces of jewelry, including earrings, bracelets and brooches made of California tourmaline, Montana sapphire, moonstone, pearl and black diamond, among others. Crevoshay’s designs take the shape of plants and animals like orchids, butterflies and spiders. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn what characteristics and qualities minerals need in order to be considered of gem-quality, as well as specific properties of Crevoshay’s favorite stones. Art of the Jewel will be on view in the Gem Vault of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall from December 7, 2018, through May 12, 2019.

“Designer Paula Crevoshay creates extraordinary jewelry inspired by the natural world, and her imaginative use of gems is highlighted in Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection,” said. Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of NHM. “This exhibition of Crevoshay’s favorite masterworks is a perfect addition to the Museum’s world class Gem and Mineral Hall, which displays more than 2,000 spectacular specimens.”

Paula itsyItsy Bitsy, Paula Crevoshay, 2012. One 8.92 ct lemon opal, ruby, opal, black spinel, and black diamond. Courtesy of Crevoshay Studio“The Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection is a must-see at the Natural History Museum,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “The County’s only institutional leader of all things natural and scientific has connected with an artist inspired by a love of nature, giving visitors a spectacular exhibition of diamonds and precious gems crafted in the forms of plants and animals.”

Exhibition highlights include Conchita (2007), a butterfly brooch set with Montana sapphire that was commissioned by the Smithsonian and is now part of that museum’s permanent gem collection. Displayed alongside Conchita are two of the largest Montana sapphires in existence, on loan from Potentate LLC, a mining operation in Montana. Montana Bitterroot (2015), a flower brooch that uses close to 300 pink Montana sapphires that took Crevoshay several years to accumulate due to the rarity of the color, is also included. Premiere mineral specimens from NHM’s collection featured in Art of the Jewel include a large collection of rough sapphire from Montana, magnificent tourmaline and quartz from the Himalaya Mine in Southern California, and a large gold crystal from Brazil that has not been exhibited for many years, among many others. A small selection of hand-carved works by master lapidary artists will also be on view.

“It is my belief that masterpieces arise only from a synthesis and integration of the disciplines of art and science and the natural world,” stated Crevoshay. “I hope to take the viewer on a journey of contemplation of the marvel of creation, and their own special place in this wonderful, interconnected world.”

Known in the gem industry as the “Queen of Color,” the Louisiana-born Crevoshay was trained as a painter and print maker before transitioning to jewelry design after learning about metals and gems in Sri Lanka, India, Tibet and other areas of Southeast Asia. Her one-of-a-kind creations have found homes in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the museum of the Gemological Institute of America.

Paula poppyPoppy, Paula Crevoshay, 2012. Opal, moonstone, black diamond, diamond, and gold. Courtesy of Crevoshay StudioThe NHM Gem and Mineral Hall

The world-renowned, 6,000-square-foot Gem and Mineral Hall opened in 1978 and is one of the finest permanent exhibit halls of minerals, rocks, gems, ores, and meteorites in the world. The Hall houses a selection of the Museum’s extensive collection - displaying more than 2,000 spectacular specimens within two large galleries - which as a whole includes more than 150,000 specimens and is the largest in the western United States. The Hall also features the new, transparent Mineral Science Lab, where the public can watch department staff work in a modern laboratory with cutting-edge instrumentation for mineral and geochemical sciences.

Admission to Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection is included with NHM General Admission. Prices are as follows: $12 for adults; $9 for students with valid ID and seniors (62+); $5 for children (3-12); free for Museum members and children age 2 and under. For more information visit www.nhm.org.