Luxury jeweller Cartier is taking over Mexico City’s Museo Jumex between 15 March to 14 May 2023 for an exhibition titled “Cartier Design: A Living Legacy”. With over 160 pieces hailing from the Cartier Collection and private collection, the dazzling array of jewellery is accompanied by archival documents like sketches of the pieces on display. Furthermore, the show’s location is a nod to Cartier’s strong ties to Latin America.
Aside from showcasing its precious collections, the exhibition is a journey for visitors to embark on where they get a deep dive into Cartier’s stylistic evolution, its distinctive language, design and craftsmanship. Arranged across five thematic sections, the entire exhibition was meticulously curated by Ana Elena Mallet, while architect Frida Escobedo was the mastermind behind its scenography which resembles an archaeological crypt. To the brand, this layout “shows a contemporary view without losing sight of its rich, complex past.”
A testimony to Cartier’s exquisite range of jewellery, timepieces and decorative objects, the “Cartier Design: A Living Legacy” exhibition illustrates the Maison’s heritage, the historic importance of these objets d’art and its relevance to our contemporary world. This legacy continues to inspire generations of designers when they conceptualise new creations for the house.
The five main sections are: The Early Days and the Birth of a Style, Universal Curiosity, Jeanne Toussaint’s Taste, Wearing Beauty and Measuring Time and Maria Félix and Icons of Elegance. Starting this immersive exhibition is a look at the symbolic pieces of Cartier from the 1850s before moving to the era of Jeanne Toussaint, where she took the helm as the first female creative director of the brand in 1933 and brought Louis Cartier’s vision into the ever-changing landscape. Design codes such as the panther and garland style, such as the revival of the Tutti Frutti, became synonymous with Cartier under Toussaint’s leadership. Elsewhere, creations inspired by Louis Cartier’s travels to Asia, Europe and the Middle East fill the space. The amalgamation of different sources of inspiration also speaks to the brand’s constant desire to be connected to the world through its pieces.
Moving to the other collections, these items were previously owned and worn by notable figures such as María Félix, a beloved Mexican actress and Cartier enthusiast, and Alberto Santos-Dumont, a renowned Brazilian aviator who inspired the original Santos wristwatch.
“Cartier Design: A Living Legacy” is a testament to the significance of Cartier’s cultural impact, showcasing consciously crafted design objects that combine traditional methods with modern techniques and technological advances. The pieces on display confirm Cartier’s mastery and excellence in producing stunning jewellery, watches, accessories, and decorative objects. Drawing from the house’s extensive archives, the exhibition features items previously owned and worn by notable figures such as María Félix, a beloved Mexican actress and Cartier enthusiast, and Alberto Santos-Dumont, a renowned Brazilian aviator who inspired the original Santos wristwatch. These objects represent a rich cultural legacy and illustrate Cartier’s ongoing commitment to innovation and evolution.
The Cartier Collection originated from a mission nearly 50 years ago to reclaim iconic pieces bearing the brand’s signature. In 1983, the Cartier Collection was established, reflecting the Maison’s expertise, cultural heritage, and storied history. With a selection that spans from the 1850s to the present day, the collection features items exclusively made for royals, socialites, and famous individuals like María Félix and Barbara Hutton. Playing a part in history and bearing witness or even participating in them, the Cartier Collection continues to expand and now comprises over 3,000 pieces. Furthermore, the house’s legacy of producing iconic and timeless pieces cherished for generations will continue to be a dazzling light for many years to come.
For more jewellery reads, click here.