Monday, August 23, 2010

New Exhibition of Carved Gemstones at Israel Diamond Museum

A new exhibition of jewelry, cameos and artifacts carved from gemstones will open at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum here next month. Entitled “And thou shalt breathe life into a gem”, the exhibition is based on the work of master carvers in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and is the result of cooperation with the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum there. It is presented under the auspices of Dr. Harald Kindermann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the State of Israel. Brinks Israel is a sponsor of the exhibition.

The exhibition encompasses a vast range of sculptures, objets d’art, cameos, jewelry and utensils, comprising about 150 items valued at approximately one million dollars. It includes cameos, animals, human figures, flowers, fruits and sweets -- all carved from gems, yet remarkably lifelike. A wide variety of gemstones have been used – agate, carnelian, tourmaline, amethyst, quartz, rose quartz, chalcedony, onyx, ruby emeralds and sapphires.

Shmuel Schnitzer, Chairman of the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, said that this exhibition is part of the efforts of the Israeli Diamond Industry to broaden the areas of interest of the diamond community and the general public. “Carved gemstones are part of the crown jewels worldwide. They are most desired items in prestigious jewelry shops and serve as an artistic expression for jewelers who wish to be regarded as artists of miniature sculpture,” he said.

He added that the exhibition is an important manifestation of the close relations between Germany and Israel.

Yehuda Kassif, artistic director and curator of the Ramat Gan museum, said that he wanted to bring the artistic creations and the heritage of the carvers of Idar-Oberstein to the Israeli public. “These master craftsmen, thanks to their artistry, have succeeded in using the colors and textures and even the imperfections of the gemstones to create objects that come alive with warmth and spirit. My goal in curating this exhibit is to expose these unique works of art to the Israeli public, as well as to pay tribute to the great talent of the artist carvers,” he said.

The exhibition will be launched on September 7, 2010 and will be open till the end of December 2010. The opening will be attended by leaders of the diamond and jewelry communities of Israel and Idar-Oberstein, as well as high-ranking representatives of the German embassy in Israel.

The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, a member of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), is a state of the art, interactive educational facility, showcasing the diamond’s journey from mine to jewel. Located in the heart of the Israeli diamond complex, it attracts thousands of visitors every year to its permanent and changing exhibitions.

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