Friday, 3 June 2011

Most Beautiful Arts and Crafts and a Beautiful Mind Named Eric Kandel

Some evenings you end up watching a movie, sitting on the sofa and wondering how lucky you are because you found a jewel when you did not expected to. Tonight's posting is about jewels.

There is a small but none the less precious exhibition at the Leopold Museum, showing jewellery that dates back to 1900. Jugendstil, Art Nouveau.
This exhibition made me do two things I had never done before:
#1 I asked a friend out to join me for an spontaneous after-work visit
#2 I went back the following day, accompanied by Mr Paula and guided by Friend B's brother, who works as a guide at the museum. Without a guide/additional information, you would be lost. I would be.

There are worlds between those butterfly brooches which date back to 1900 and 1910. Instead of using as many diamonds as possible to demonstrate the value, in 1910 the craft became important, how to master enamel. Asymmetry was also new. Isn't it amazing how dull the butterfly from 1900 seems to be, compared to the butterflies from 1910? (sorry, had to remove the photos!)

The exhibition shows various European country's jewels.The french jewellery is extraordinary.
A japonseque comb with apple blossoms

A funny coincidence: a few weeks ago I heard of Lalique for the first time - I was interested in their perfume Les Perles. René Jules Lalique was famous for his jewelry.

An asymmetric comb, wisteria blossoms
A comb with elderflowers (The light was difficult, difficult to capture the details.)

Today I passed by the Viennese jeweller Rozet & Fischmeister. Yes, the jeweller still is at the same adress where it has been ever since 1770. This is the best of all: when history comes to life, when Jugendstil was just an episode and it continues. You can imagine how delighted I was in front of the shop window of Rozet & Fischmeister.

Tonight I sat down, planning to write this posting on jewellery when I accidently stumbled over this movie on TV: In Search of the Memory

It is an adorable documentary. Kandel left Vienna in 1939, having been isolated in school as the only jew in class for a year. It were thoses experiences which shaped him - Never forget. He wanted to understand how the long term memory works. In 2000 he obtained the Nobel Prize together with two colleagues. The moment someone in Brooklyn asks Eric Kandel how old he is, the man guesses: 82? Kandel answers: No. (obviously annoyed) ...40! The man asking starts to laugh, then Kendler laughs and they both laugh. and laugh on. Adorable. Hm. Maybe it is not funny when I write it down. You better watch the movie. Whoever lives in France, Austria or Germany might be able to watch the movie on arte+7. arte offers most of their programme online for the following week after airing. Maybe you like to check it tomorrow.

Since it is the weekend, time for some shallowness. The air is so humid these days and I just can't take up blotting. So I started a new attempt, leaving the dozens of packages of blotting-papers aside and invested in a nice powder. In case you need something to keep your "matte", I can recommend Estee Lauder's Double Matte, Oil-Control Pressed Powder in "Translucent". Very light, very mattifying, just what my forehead needs these days.
Maybe I am more a powder and less a blotting typeof woman

I don't know how long you keep powder make up in your drawers, but I had this Clarins-eyeshadow-quattro for 9 years and it is still silky and very smooth. (I might add that I only use eye-shadow brushes which get cleaned every now and then).
I remember exactly when and where I bought it (maybe because I rarely buy make-up). I had 1 hour left til the party started and went to a perfumery for a spontaneous make-over.
It was the day when the New Economy company I worked for went bankrupt. The bubble finally bursted and we who were left partied for the last time in the name of the company. Me in purple/beige/pearl. On my eyelids. The beige and pearl have served me well ever since.

Even though I am a tad too busy, too heavy and lacking the life-work balance at the moment, I am in a good mood. Even when I don't post, I keep reading your postings all the time and I really enjoy your presence.

Not long and I will be inside a church again, little niece's First Communion is ahead! She is sooo looking forward to it. :-)

Gosh, this posting took me really long. The English languate is really time consuming, at least for me.
Have a nice weekend and in case you watched the documentary, let me know how you liked it!


  1. I love arts and crafts jewelry!
    There is such an element of the organic in their designs...
    the Christianson bracelet from 1901 is so stylish.
    I would wear it today if I had the opportunity!

    Hope that you have a great weekend.

  2. Great post! I appreciate the effort that went into writing it.

    The hair combs are absolutely gorgeous. I used to wear hear combs (plastic ones) when I was a child. Do you ever wear them?

    I will have to see if your movie recommendation is on Netflix. It looks very interesting. And I love foreign films.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo, Adrienne

  3. Hostess, the weekend had been full of family so far which is actually good!

    Adrienne, thank you! Your mother or older sister must have been talented, I would have no idea how to plug such a comb in my hair and make it stay there. They always slipped. Have a great weekend, too! PS: I am still "soaked" with yesterday's documentary.

  4. Thank you sharing and educating us, dear Ms P. Truly stunning pieces. I'll see if I can track down the video.

    I've been fortunate enough to see a few Lalique items in person as well, and I'm sure you agree that photos can't do them justice (but are wonderful to have).

    While you are in an Art Nouveau frame of mind, you may want to look for furniture by Louis Majorelle and Hector Guimard -- so fluid!

    Glad you are in a good mood in spite of the weather and work. [Though even when you aren't in a good mood you make me laugh.]

  5. Hi PAULA!
    I love the jewellery post. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.
    Lalique was big in my day, so you are probably a bit young to have heard of it before.
    The THING in the 80's was to have a pice of Lalique crystal and a statuette by Lladro.
    Your posting in English is fantastic. I know how much work it is for me to do a post in English.

  6. Vix, happy indeed! I blame it on my new gold topaz aka citrine ring: "In mysticism, the topaz is attributed with a cooling, styptic and appetising effect. It is said to dispel sadness, anger and nocturnal fears, to warn its wearer of poisons and protect him or her from sudden death. It is reputed to make men handsome and intelligent and sterile women fertile and happy."
    Here in Vienna, women my age are already tired of Viennese Jugendstil by Hoffmann etc. But the French ones are so different, so lovely ...
    Of course I had to get myself a Lalique perfume for my 39th birthday. Like my father stated: this is a womand's perfume, not girly anymore.

    Louise, I imagine a large house where Lalique crystal works. Our scale was more the Swarovski-mouse and cat-size. (not larger than a thumb)
    Thank you for complimenting my english. Maybe I will try a posting in German one day so I can compare the time it takes. I would never want to miss you as readers. Never!!

  7. Is the topaz/citrine working, Ms P?

    And I can't believe how well you write, and convey humor, in English. It rather depresses me as I could not return the favor in German!

    Speaking of depressing, Feedburner is not notifying my email subscribers of new (albeit infrequent) posts...can't remember if you are one. So if you didn't catch my recent semi-architectural focus, stop by when you get the time.

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  9. Vix, I missed your comment! The last weeks have been hard, I put the ring back on my finger and let it do its magic.