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Necklace worn by Countess of Granard. Cartier London, special order, 1932. Platinum, diamonds, emerald; Height at center 8.8 cm. Cartier Collection © Cartier

DENVER, CO.- The Denver Art Museum opened the much-anticipated exhibition, Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, on view Nov. 16, 2014 through March 15, 2015. Denver is the sole worldwide venue for this exhibition, featuring a stunning assortment of jewelry, timepieces and precious objects created between 1900 and 1975. The exhibition highlights Cartier’s rise to preeminence in the midst of historical events as it transformed itself into one of the world’s most prestigious names in jewelry. In addition to items loaned by the Cartier Collection, the exhibition includes loans from museums and private collections from around the world. Organized in seven thematic sections, the exhibition features a special section dedicated to providing a rare look at Cartier-crafted men’s items.

The exhibition is anticipated to be a major tourism draw for the city of Denver and the state of Colorado,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, the private, non-profit trade association responsible for marketing Denver. “To host this worldwide-exclusive exhibition further establishes Denver as a culturally rich destination for business or pleasure. Brilliant will undoubtedly serve as both a significant regional and national pull to The Mile High City and VISIT DENVER looks forward to working together with the Denver Art Museum to create a unique and exciting experience through this incredible exhibition.”

In addition to the magnificent and glittering jewelry that is being featured in Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, the exhibition also features a selection of original preparatory drawings, historic photographs, advertising materials, film clips and movie stills to provide insight into the evolving cultural setting of the time period to tell the story of Cartier. Paris-based exhibition designer Nathalie Crinière transformed multiple galleries at the Denver Art Museum, showcasing a dramatic installation that highlights the objects’ glittering diamonds, deeply hued gems, and brightly colored materials such as gold, lapis, coral, jade and lapis.

Exhibition themes include:

• Aristocracy and Aspiration: Focusing on objects from 1900–1918, this section features diamond, sapphire, rock crystal and pearl jewelry and enameled decorative items that showcase a refined and elegant aesthetic embraced by European royalty and aristocrats—and the wealthy Americans who aspired to join their social class. Cartier was a pioneer in the use of platinum, which complements the whiteness of diamonds, and permits the creation of light, delicate settings.

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Tiara worn by Mrs. Townsend. Cartier Paris, special order, 1905. Platinum, diamonds; Height at center 9.8 cm. Provenance: Mary Scott Townsend and Mrs. Donald McElroy. Cartier Collection. Photo: Vincent Wulveryck, Cartier Collection © Cartier

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Stomacher brooch. Cartier Paris, special order, 1907. Platinum, sapphires, diamonds; 21 x 12.9 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Laurel leaf tiara-owned by Marie Bonaparte, Cartier Paris, 1907. © Cartier

• Art Deco: New Outlook: Cartier was a leader in the innovative Art Deco movement of the 1910s to 1920s that highlighted a bold look with a new emphasis on color and geometry. The Maison utilized new materials in this era including jade, coral and black onyx.

• Art Deco: Foreign Fascination: Cartier capitalized on the excitement generated by international events after World War I, such as the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, to create original designs that incorporated exotic styles and materials including imported carved jade, lacquer and faience. Cartier’s exotic flair culminated in the colorful tutti-frutti style jewelry and sculptural mystery clocks.

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Egyptian striking clock owned by Mrs. George Blumenthal. Cartier Paris, 1927. Gold, silver gilt, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, coral, emerald, cornelian, enamel; 24 x 15.7 x 12.7 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Tutti Frutti strap bracelet worn by Mrs. Cole Porter. Cartier Paris, 1929. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies; 18 x 4.07 x 0.75 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Tutti Frutti double clip brooch worn by Mrs. Cole Porter. Cartier Paris, special order, 1935. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies. 9.79 x 4.53 x 1.65 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

• Masculine View: While Cartier is most famous for women’s jewelry, they have always produced sleek, handsome items that appeal to men. Louis Cartier is credited with inventing the modern men’s wristwatch. The exhibition will include numerous models and styles, in addition to elegant and complex pocket watches. Cartier also designed beautiful cuff links, pocket items, cocktail and desk accessories, and inscribed cigarette cases, to name a few. Historic events such as Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, Franklin Roosevelt’s role in the Allies’ World War II victory and the American lunar landing were commemorated by inscribed gift items made by Cartier and featured in the exhibition.

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Santos wristwatch. Cartier Paris, 1915. Gold, sapphire, leather strap; 3.49 x 2.47 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Coin watch. Cartier Paris, 1937. Gold; diam. 3.42 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

• Art of Smoking: At the turn of the century, smoking in polite society was largely limited to men and Russian women. As social norms loosened, cigarette smoking was adopted by all classes, and elegant smoking accessories became a necessity for fashionable women. This section features textured, enameled and jeweled cigar cutters, cigarette cases and lighters from 1907 through the 1940s.

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Cigarette case sold to Willis McCormick, president of Queen Aviation and inscribed with the signatures of approximately thirty figures related to the birth of aviation. Cartier Paris, 1912. Silver, gold, sapphire; 8.86 x 8.48 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

• Age of Glamour: The global depression affected Cartier’s business, but a wealthy, cosmopolitan clientele continued to purchase showy jewelry, clocks and accessories in platinum and massive yellow gold settings. This section highlights designs from the 1930s to 1960s preferred by celebrities and Café Society (as international jet-setters were sometimes known).

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Desk set with clock. Cartier Paris for Cartier New York, 1931. Silver, gold, lacquer, nephrite, enamel; 24 x 12.5 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Necklace worn by Countess of Granard. Cartier London, special order, 1932. Platinum, diamonds, emerald; Height at center 8.8 cm. Cartier Collection © Cartier

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Halo Tiara, 1936, Cartier. © Cartier

• Icons of Style: The exhibition’s concluding section is devoted to Cartier’s most famous clients, including style icons Daisy Fellowes, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Mexican film star María Félix. Cartier’s original designs were essential to the self-expression of the individuals who shaped 20th century culture and fashion.

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Flamingo brooch worn by the Duchess of Windsor. Cartier Paris, special order, 1940. Platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, citrine; 9.65 x 9.59 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Tiger lorgnette owned by the Duchess of Windsor. Cartier Paris, special order, 1954. Gold, enamel, emeralds, glass; 8.5 x 2 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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HRH Grace Of Monaco’s Engagement Ring. Cartier. © Cartier

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HRH Grace Of Monaco’s necklace, 1953. Cartier. © Cartier

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Necklace worn by Elizabeth Taylor. Cartier Paris, 1951, altered in 1953. Platinum, diamonds, rubies; Length 37.5 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

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Crocodile necklace horizontal and vertical: Crocodile necklace made as a special order for María Félix. Cartier Paris, special order, 1975. Gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies; Length 30 cm. and 27.3 cm. Cartier Collection. Photo: Vincent Wulveryck, Cartier Collection © Cartier.

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Necklace created for Sir Bhupindra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. Cartier Paris, special order, 1928. Platinum, diamonds, zirconias, topazes, synthetic rubies, smoky quartz, citrine; Height at center: 27 cm. Cartier Collection. © Cartier

"The Denver Art Museum offered a preview of it's newest exhibition "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century" "

Pierre Rainero , the image, style, and heritage director for Cartier International talked about the Denver Art Museum’s newest exhibition « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century » on Thursday, November 13, 2014. It features stunning jewelry, timepieces, and precious objects created between 1900 and 1975. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post)

" A Denver Art Museum installer placed Elizabeth Taylor's ruby and diamond Cartier necklace on display as they prepare on Thursday, November 6, 2014 for the upcoming show, "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century.""

A Denver Art Museum installer placed Elizabeth Taylor’s ruby and diamond Cartier necklace on display as they prepare on Thursday, November 6, 2014 for the upcoming show, « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century. » For security precautions the museum installer could not be identified. The necklace was a gift to Taylor by her husband Mike Todd in 1957. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post)

"The Denver Art Museum offered a preview of it's newest exhibition "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century" "

Cartier’s « Pendant » from 1913 features a 478 carat sapphire and is on view as part of the Denver Art Museum’s newest exhibition « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century » on Thursday, November 13, 2014. The show opens November 16th and features stunning jewelry, timepieces, and precious objects created between 1900 and 1975. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post)

" A Denver Art Museum installer placed Elizabeth Taylor's ruby and diamond Cartier necklace on display as they prepare on Thursday, November 6, 2014 for the upcoming show, "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century.""

A Denver Art Museum installer placed Elizabeth Taylor’s ruby and diamond Cartier necklace on display as they prepare on Thursday, November 6, 2014 for the upcoming show, « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century. » For security precautions the museum installer could not be identified. The necklace was a gift to Taylor by her husband Mike Todd in 1957. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post)

"The Denver Art Museum offered a preview of it's newest exhibition "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century." "

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From left, a lace ribbon brooch and a Stomacher brooch, both dating from 1907, share a case with a hair ornament fashioned in 1908 at the media preview for the new Denver Art Museum exhibit entitled « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, » in Denver. The exhibit highlights Cartier’s rise to be one of the world’s most prestigious names in jewelry, precious objects and accessories. Photo: David Zalubowski, AP

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A snake necklace made of platinum and round, old-cut diamonds, in 1919, appears on display at the media preview for the new Denver Art Museum exhibit entitled « Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, » in Denver. The exhibit highlights Cartier’s rise to be one of the world’s most prestigious names in jewelry, precious objects and accessories. Photo: David Zalubowski, AP