Advanced Search

David Webb to Host Exhibition of ‘Artful Animals’

Aug 23, 2022 8:55 AM   By Anthony DeMarco
Comment Comment Email Email Print Print Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Share Share

US brand David Webb’s first in-house exhibition will highlight the animal-themed pieces that established it as a groundbreaking jewelry house.

Titled “A Walk in the Woods: David Webb’s Artful Animals,” the show will take place at the high-jewelry company’s Madison Avenue headquarters from September 19 to October 2. It was postponed from its original spring 2020 date because of Covid-19.

The exhibition celebrates the moment when David Webb’s animal jewels came to the forefront of fashion. In 1964, when David Webb received the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for his animals, the committee showed A Walk in the Woods. The film by fashion photographer Milton Greene and illustrator Joe Eula depicted David Webb’s zebras, horses, frogs and giraffes in enamel, diamonds and gemstones.

The event promises a contemporary reimagining of the film, created by photographer and videographer Noah Kalina and set to music by cellist Patrick Belaga.

Following the Coty award, the company’s Manhattan boutique became a favorite destination for socialites and jewelry collectors. Among those who would venture into his New York City workshop were Elizabeth Taylor, Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, Gloria Vanderbilt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Barbra Streisand, and Wallis Simpson, the duchess of Windsor.

As well as the frogs, zebras, cats, snakes, horses, and monkeys, David Webb will debut two owl jewels fashioned specifically for the exhibition from original David Webb designs. The Hoot brooch features a heart-shaped amethyst with green and white enamel stripes in 18-karat gold and platinum. The Midnight Owl Torsade bracelet reflects one of David Webb’s most iconic designs, the Elizabeth Taylor bracelet, by depicting animal heads and multi-strands of gemstone beads.

In 1948, Webb founded his eponymous company, which reached the height of popularity in the 1960s. His animal jewels were made of enamel and colorful gemstones with bold, lifelike expressions that included zebras, crocodiles or intertwining dragons.

The jeweler died in 1975. Estate jewelers Mark Emanuel, Sima Ghadamian and Robert Sadian currently own the business.

The exhibition will take place at the David Webb New York showroom on 942 Madison Avenue by appointment only. Following the exhibition, the jewels will be available for purchase.

Image: A Lounging Leopard brooch with oval cabochon emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds, black enamel, 18-karat gold, and platinum. (David Webb)
Comment Comment Email Email Print Print Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Share Share
Tags: A Walk in the Woods, Anthony DeMarco, Artful Animals, David Webb, exhibition, Jewelry, Madison avenue, Mark Emanuel, new york, Robert Sadian, Sima Ghadamian
Similar Articles
Comments: (0)  Add comment Add Comment
Arrange Comments Last to First