The inaugural exhibition of L’École Middle East, the School of Jewelry Arts, is set to showcase a stunning array of precious gems at its new permanent location in Dubai Design District. With the "Garden of Emeralds" exhibition, visitors will be able to learn more about the fascinating past and unsolved mysteries surrounding this exquisite jewel.
The exhibition also marks the launch of L’École, School of Jewelry Arts in the Middle East, an extension of the institution originally established in Paris in 2012, with the generous backing of the prestigious French luxury jewelry company Van Cleef & Arpels.
L’École has two long-standing campuses in Paris, one in Hong Kong since 2019, and a new one in Shanghai starting this year.
Lise MacDonald, President of L’École, cited the success of their mobile educational sessions in the Middle East in recent years and the rising number of jewelry designers in the region over the past decade as key factors behind their decision to expand to Dubai.
When discussing the school's mission, MacDonald highlighted the historical significance of jewelry as one of the first mediums for artistic expression. Throughout history, people have adorned themselves with various items for both ceremonial and ornamental reasons. She emphasized that jewelry serves as a universal means of expressing one's cultural identity.
L’École's Dubai branch is open to everyone, including beginners, enthusiasts, collectors, and those with a curiosity about jewelry. It offers a comprehensive program of online and in-person discussions, temporary exhibitions like "The Garden of Emeralds" (from November 23 to March 10), along with publications and research studies.
Despite being backed by Van Cleef & Arpels, L’École showcases work from various jewelry brands, aiming to make the world of jewelry accessible to a broad audience. Nicolas Boos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, emphasized the importance of being welcoming and inclusive, rather than intimidating or exclusive.
L’École's dedication to showcasing jewelry's historical significance and diversity is evident in an upcoming Paris exhibition on costume jewelry. Held in an 18th-century building on Grands Boulevards, it will feature Comédie-Française stage jewelry, offering insights into various historical periods.
Sophie Claudel, L’École Middle East's Director, stressed their narrative-driven approach and the aim to democratize jewelry as an art form for everyone. She noted that Dubai's multicultural environment offers an ideal setting for this inclusive jewelry school.
Additionally, jewelry plays a vital role in Middle Eastern heritage, with L’École in Dubai offering various courses, seminars, two annual exhibitions, a bookstore, and a library. The goal is to create an inclusive hub for jewelry enthusiasts and those interested in exploring the world of jewelry in the region.