New Exhibition: Tiffany & Co. Takes On Tokyo

While the magic that is Sakura season in Tokyo is hard to beat, the magnificent jewels set to be on view at Tokyo Node Gallery beginning April 12 might, to a certain kind of traveler, come pretty close:Tiffany Wonder,” an immersive exhibition organized across 10 rooms, gathers nearly 500 of the house’s masterworks, each telling a story of craft and creativity, heritage, and modernity.

Among the most famous jewels on display is the Tiffany Diamond, a 128.54 carat stunner that has been worn in public on just a few occasions (namely by Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, in that order). It’s set in a new creation inspired by the iconic Jean Schlumberger-designed Bird on a Rock brooch (which is currently enjoying a red carpet renaissance). 

 

Tiffany & Co. birds brooch

Nested in its new home, the iconic Tiffany Diamond now lives in this brooch

“Tiffany Wonder” is designed to explore themes that are central to the house’s heritage. There are 300 never-before-seen-objects in the mix, including a rare, late 19th century George Paulding Farnham-for-Tiffany & Co. orchid brooch with enamel, emeralds, diamonds and pink sapphires, and the Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Plumes necklace, set with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace

Trellis and Leaves necklace, 1956, designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. dragonfly

Circa-1904 Dragonfly brooch, designed by Julia Munson under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany

The exhibits tell the story of Tiffany & Co.’s nearly 200-year legacy, including not just the jewels but important ephemera such as the first Blue Book mail-order catalogue and one of the first Blue Boxes. The iconic Tiffany Setting engagement is also among the exhibits. In other words, visitors get a 360-degree Tiffany & Co. experience; the historic pieces alone make the exhibition a “bucket-list” event. 

Tiffany & Co. Wonder of Dreams Tokyo

A view of one of the Tokyo Node gallery rooms displaying important “Tiffany Wonder” exhibits that collectively celebrate the jeweler’s exceptional craftsmanship and design ingenuity

“The idea of wonder has been integral to our DNA since 1837,” said Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product, communications and industrial, for Tiffany & Co., in a prepared statement. “Since the very beginning, each design that we’ve imagined and each piece that we’ve handcrafted has been rooted in our mission to spark wonder and inspire the world’s greatest love stories. Our latest exhibition celebrates this spirit in a city of great importance to Tiffany & Co.: Tokyo.” 

The location is not incidental. Tiffany & Co.’s relationship with Japan dates back to its earliest days, when founder Charles Lewis Tiffany began offering his clients select imported Japanese goods, a rare offering in the American market. Many of the house’s best-known designers, including Edward C. Moore, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Elsa Peretti, found inspiration for their work in Japanese art and design. 

Various aspects of the exhibition are dedicated to the ways in which Tiffany & Co. is indebted to Japan—right down to the space itself: the Tokyo Node gallery, located in Toranomon Hills Station Tower (one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo). This setting reflects a commonality between Tiffany, Tokyo, and New York City in that OMA, the renowned architecture firm that designed Toranomon Hills Station Tower, likewise played an integral role in the reimagining of the Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store (now known as The Landmark). 

The (white satin) bow tying this “Tiffany box” together is the fact that OMA is also responsible for the scenography of the “Tiffany Wonder” exhibition. 

The “Tiffany Wonder” exhibition runs through June 23; tickets are available on the Tiffany & Co. app, and on the iOS and Google Play app stores. 

Photos courtesy Tiffany & Co.