Curated by British 'starchitect' Sir Norman Foster, Cartier in Motion traces, in six main sections, Cartier's design trajectory and its links with the history of aviation and architecture from the early 20th century to the present.
Cartier in Motion Exhibition, the Design Museum. Image courtesy of Culture Whisper
Inspired by the changing face of Paris and the new century's emphasis on motion, speed and flight, Cartier revolutionised the brand's aesthetic. He abandoned the Art Nouveau style, in vogue at the turn of the century, for a cleaner, simpler aesthetic evoking the geometric lines of Hausmannian Paris and the recently-built Eiffel Tower.
The exhibition includes more than 170 objects, predominantly from the Cartier archive from the very earliest wristwatches, including The Santos, designed in 1904, to the spot-lit, diamond-encrusted tiaras and gold-leaf cigarette cases from the firm's later years.
If Cartier's rich and famous patrons are more the order of the day, however, then you can see the original prints of Rudolph Valentino wearing the original Cartier Tank in the 1926 film The Son of the Sheik and fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent wearing the first Tank Must in 1977.
Cartier in Motion, Yves Saint Laurent. Image courtesy of Culture Whisper
While Cartier was renowned first and foremost for its elegant watches and jewellery, the rise in commercial travel at the dawn of the 20th century saw the birth of the Cartier luxury travel accessory. A new Cartier era had dawned. Look out for the delicately embossed Cartier luggage, cigar cases, and silver and gold travelling desk sets nestled amongst the watches half-way through the exhibition.
But beyond the object lies the craftsman and his workshop. Renowned the world over for exceptional craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and unparalleled material excellence, Cartier's quest for perfection shines bright. Celebrating the brand's artistry in manufacture, the final chapter showcases a workman's bench garnished with his tools, the complex mechanisms at the heart of their watches, and an insight into the modern-day Cartier manufacturing centre at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
It's an intimate, glamorous and utterly captivating show – well worth heading to Kensington for.
|What||Review: Cartier in Motion, The Design Museum|
|Where||Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 6AG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||High Street Kensington (underground)|
25 May 17 – 28 Jul 17, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|