Inspired by the desire to share and pass on a unique savoir-faire, it is opening a fresh chapter in its development with larger premises and more classes.
Founded in February 2012 at the instigation of its President Marie Vallanet-Delhom, L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels is notable for an innovative curriculum geared towards shedding light on the very secretive worlds of Jewelry and Watchmaking. Its goal is to instill an intellectual and emotional understanding of the spirit of these exceptional crafts; to encourage mastery of their techniques through personal experience; to educate the hand, the eye and the sense of taste. It does so with the help of experts who are passionate about their subjects: art historians, virtuoso craftsmen, experienced jewelers, gemologists, master watchmakers and historians of time share their knowledge with students from all over the world.
Since opening, L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels has welcomed more than 2,200 students of some 30 different nationalities: lovers of beauty, enlightened amateurs or professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge. Its curriculum has expanded to include 13 courses lasting 4 hours each (in French and English), spread across three themes: History of Art, Savoir-Faire and the Universe of Gemstones.
In order to continue its work and reach a wider audience, l’École has decided to move into permanent premises in the center of Paris’ High Jewelry neighborhood. L’Hôtel Van Cleef & Arpels des Métiers, recently renovated to house l’École, is dedicated to celebrating traditional craft skills and passing on excellence.
Larger premises, more classes
From January 28, 2014, L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels will be unveiling its new premises, which contain an increased number of classrooms and workshops and enable it to offer an increased number of classes. With a total floor space of 750 m2, l’École now contains:
– Two classrooms dedicated to the History of Art, one of them housed in a splendid 18th century salon
– A library open to all students
– Four permanent workshops:
• a gemology workshop of 36 m2
• a jewelry workshop of 73 m2, capable of accommodating up to 16 students
• a design workshop of 17 m2
• a watchmaking workshop of 46 m2
The various skills of High Jewelry and Watchmaking are thus present on a permanent basis within l’École, whose broad curriculum ranges from the history of these disciplines to the knowledge of stones and the gestures of craftsmen.
A different way of teaching
The success of L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels is also founded on innovative educational techniques that offer students a complete, involving and memorable experience.
From ‘‘investigation”, enabling participants to acquire the means of analyzing and identifying gems, to ‘‘creation” – practicing craft techniques and sampling the pleasures of the creative process – and ‘‘immersion”, in which new perspectives plunge students into History itself, l’École provides the keys to facilitate learning.
The senses are engaged to communicate emotion and leave a lasting impression: sight, which makes it possible to dive deep inside gems and stimulates questions; hearing, thanks to which students can imagine the bustle of a precious stone market or the grating of stones being cut; and touch, with the handling of objects, jewels and gems.
The subjects are treated from unusual angles, stimulating memory and curiosity and fuelling the thirst for knowledge.
An itinerant school
To spread its expertise across the globe, L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels ventures abroad to settle in other world cities. In July 2013 it spent two weeks in Tokyo, where over 600 enthusiastic students attended.
Encouraged by this success, l’École will continue on its travels with a schedule of one foreign trip each year.
L’École opens its doors to business
Exceptional savoir-faire, the quest for excellence and the handing-down of skills… The crafts of Jewelry and Watchmaking are a source of inspiration for every professional. L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels is appealing to a new business audience with a range of unique experiences for teams, offering rare instruction in an exceptional setting.
Classes, workshop demonstrations and team-building, innovation and problem-solving activities are tailor-made to meet the specific needs of businesses. They offer an exclusive way of celebrating successes, creating an enriching experience or strengthening teams.