India: Jewels that Enchanted the World, billed as the most comprehensive exhibition of Indian jewelry ever staged, has gone on display in the State Museums of Moscow Kremlin.
The exhibition examines the legacy of 500 years of Indian jewelry, from the 17th century to the present day. More than 300 pieces of jewelry and jeweled objects – loaned from over 30 museums, institutions and private collections from around the world – have been brought together for the first time "to showcase the beauty of Indian craftsmanship, the magnificence of diamond and gemstone setting, and the aesthetic refinement of Indian taste," according to organizers. Many of the items have never been exhibited before.
The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the diamond and jewelry industry and the major cultural institution. It is the brainchild of Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Bourse and the chairman of the World Diamond Mark Foundation, who in 2011 suggested the idea to Dr. Elena Gagarina, Director of the Kremlin Museum. Together, they brought together scholars and enthusiasts from India, UK, Switzerland and the USA to realize the ambitious project.
To manage and market the multi-year project, Popov formed Indo-Russian Jewellery Foundation (IRJF). The foundation took a leading role in location of the exhibition, hired world-renowned curators, photographers, writers and experts and fully coordinated and oversaw the organization of the event. IRJF received generous support from Alrosa and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India, as well as from various other benefactors.
"The list of institutions, museums and collectors who made their jewelry available, and the unique list of experts, curators and advisors that we engaged for this project, is solid proof of the exclusivity and unmatched quality of the pieces that are on display at this exhibition," Popov stated."
The exhibition's opening night was attended by representatives of the top jewelry houses and specialists, including: Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Chaumet, Siegelson, Totah, Faerber and others, as well as auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's, representatives of major museums, scholars and collectors.
"As the Chairman of the World Diamond Mark Foundation, an initiative of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), I see this exhibition as the first major event on the long road to generic diamond promotion. Others will follow very soon," Popov concluded.