Cameo Fever: From Catherine the Great to Scarlett O’Hara

May 6th, 2019

LOCATION: Albertine/French Embassy (972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075)

Event information

  • Participants
    80 people
  • Duration
  • Instructors
  • Price
    $ 0/pers.
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The ancient art of cameo carving experienced a spirited revival during the 18th and 19th centuries. These small portable sculptures were carved from hardstones, shells, and other natural substances and were often mounted as jewelry. Catherine the Great of Russia described her insatiable appetite for carved stones as “cameo fever,” and Empress Josephine Bonaparte wore cameo-laden parures in the neoclassical style. In the nineteenth century superb hand-carved cameos were executed by Roman jewelry firms such as Saulini and Castellani, while the tourist trade shopped for mass-produced souvenirs in a revived Greco-Roman taste. Let’s discuss the history and popularity of the cameo, explaining the materials and techniques used and the variety of motifs associated with this most classic of jewelry forms.


  • Beth Carver Wees

    Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Inezita Gay Eckel
    Art Historian and Professor at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts

May 6th, 2019
6:00pm: Check-in & Welcome Reception

6:30pm: Conversation begins

LOCATION: Albertine/French Embassy (972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075)