The Adventurine Posts The Jewelry School That Changed Everything Is 10

Three jewels from L’Ecole exhibits: Van Cleef & Arpels 1930s vanity case from ‘Precious Art Deco Objects,’ Van Cleef & Arpels 1940s bird brooch from ‘Birds of Paradise,’ 14th century Jewish wedding ring from ‘Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur.' Photo courtesy

Jewelry News

The Jewelry School That Changed Everything Is 10

L’École is celebrating its anniversary with lots of great talks and events

by Marion Fasel

This story is part of a series celebrating L’École’s 10th anniversary. Events include in-person lectures in New York City and Houston. Find out more about the schedule here.

February 4, 2022—Ten years ago if you wanted to learn about the history of jewelry design, there were not a lot of options. L’École, School of the Jewelry Arts contributed significantly to changing the landscape by creating a remarkable environment for jewelry education.

Now L’École is celebrating its 10th anniversary by doing what it does best—presenting jewelry history classes and staging exhibitions.

Good news for jewelry lovers in America, a few in-person classes are being held in New York City on February 16 and 17 and in Houston on February 25. If you can’t make it in-person, you can still enjoy the courses online. Find out the details on the free presentations and sign up here.

Some of the jewels in the 2019 Birds of Paradise exhibit at L’École in Paris. Photo courtesy

The story of L’École, School of the Jewelry Arts is as unique as the jewels studied there.

Established in Paris in 2012 with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’École created an ambitious strategy to cover jewelry from many angles. “We are passionately committed to sharing the multi-faceted aspects of all the effort and art that go into a jewel to the widest possible general audience,” once explained the President of L’École, Marie Vallanet-Delhom.

History of Jewelry courses have always been a key element of the curriculum. They cover the subject from all eras and cultures. Savoir Faire classes allow students to go through the process of what it’s like to create a jewel. In the World of Gemstones division, students study gemology as well as the history of gems. There is even a whole set of classes for young jewelry enthusiasts.

The 2018 L’École exhibit ‘The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King.’ Photo courtesy

Most of the classes are taught at the permanent L’École campuses in Paris and Hong Kong. For special occasions, the school has traveled and set up temporary spaces to the delight of jewelry lovers in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and Dubai.

While the list of courses is extensive, they are far from L’École’s only activities. The school has participated in the publication of several books. And perhaps the pièce de résistance of all they do is the exhibitions. There have been 18 in the last 10 years.

In many ways, the exhibitions bring all the ideas of L’École tangibly together for students and the public to enjoy. The art and craft, gems and imaginative designs can all be seen three dimensionally in the jewelry on display.

Posters from two L’École exhibitions Photo courtesy

Birds in Paradise was one of the most spectacular L’École exhibitions. It featured bejeweled birds dating from 1860 to the 1960s.

Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur featured forty jewels ranging from Van Cleef & Arpels ballerina brooches to a rare 14th century Jewish gold and enamel wedding ring.

Precious Art Deco Objects: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection caused a sensation when the 113 vanity cases, clocks and other decorative items made by the greatest jewelers of the Jazz Age were presented at L’Ecole in Paris.

Diamond bird brooch accented with emeralds, onyx and feathers from L’École’s ‘Birds in Paradise’ exhibition. Photo courtesy

In celebration of their 10th anniversary, L’École has several exciting exhibitions, books, new courses and special traveling events planned.

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