By Ashley Davis
“Beautiful Creatures: Jewelry Inspired by the Animal Kingdom,” is an upcoming American Museum of Natural History exhibition curated by Marion Fasel, who also wrote the accompanying tome.
New York—A new book and jewelry exhibition explore animals as design elements in jewelry.

Out late last month from Rizzoli Electa, “Beautiful Creatures: Jewelry Inspired by the Animal Kingdom,” by veteran jewelry author and editor Marion Fasel, explores iconic bejeweled animal depictions from Bulgari’s snakes to Cartier’s panthers to JAR’s butterflies.

The tome accompanies an exhibition of the same name Fasel curated at the American Museum of Natural History, scheduled to open this fall upon the institution’s completion of the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

The renovated halls will feature a new gallery for special exhibitions, the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery, starting with “Beautiful Creatures.”

The 120 jewels in the exhibition and book range from present-day creations to pieces dating back as far as the mid-1800s.

They’re grouped by their general environment; “Air” showcases various birds and insects, “Water” features fish, starfish and crocodiles among others, while “Land” depicts such mammals and reptiles as tigers, elephants, snakes, lizards and tortoises.

Fasel couples her curation of pieces with the stories behind the jewels, noting their symbolic associations. Specific jewelry anecdotes are also included alongside images of famous figures like Elizabeth Taylor wearing animal-inspired pieces.

Fasel is the founder of fine jewelry website The Adventurine. “Beautiful Creatures” is her ninth jewelry book.

The book is out now, while the museum exhibition dates are forthcoming.

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