David Webb will finally get its moment: The jeweler will stage its first in-house product retrospective this September, following a two-year delay caused by the pandemic.
“A Walk in the Woods: David Webb’s Artful Animals” will feature Webb’s intricate, colorful designs as well as original photography and video. It will be staged at the jeweler’s flagship boutique in Manhattan at 942 Madison Avenue from Sept. 19 through Oct. 2 and can be viewed by appointment.
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The exhibit focuses on Webb’s signature approach to animal figures throughout his breadth of jewelry. Cheekily, some of Webb’s best-known animal-inspired works were photographed in nature for a surreal effect.
The show was originally meant to be staged in April 2020, but those plans ultimately unraveled.
“This was our first time to look inward and say, ‘We have a lot of amazing themes and stories to explore, why not try our own in-house exhibition?’ We have a great space here and it will transform into an amazing exhibition space,” said Levi Higgs, David Webb’s head of archives and brand heritage.
“After a 2 year delay due to the pandemic, we’re thrilled to debut our first in-house exhibition. The story of David Webb is deeply intertwined with the city of New York and telling some of the many untold stories of our jewelry within the walls of our Madison Avenue flagship first – before the exhibition travels – was important to us. And as social media has allowed us to reach a larger audience of jewelry enthusiasts, we are excited to open our doors to the public and to introduce David Webb in an immersive and intimate way,” added Mark Emanuel, David Webb co-owner.
David Webb has staged two exhibits with outside partners in the past, both in 2014 at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, and in 2018 at the Doris Duke House in Newport, Rhode Island.
Jewelers around the globe have begun ramping up their staging of archival exhibitions to further strengthen links with clients. Bulgari has set up an exhibition space within its New York City flagship and it’s understood that Tiffany & Co. will build out a similar kind of space as part of its Fifth Avenue flagship renovation.
Even smaller jewelers, like Seaman Schepps, are also now showing off archival pieces to shoppers. Schepps included an exhibition space as part of its new Madison Avenue store, which opened earlier this summer.
According to Higgs, this is a starting point for a potentially larger strategy around archival highlights. “I think over the next however many years we now have multiple options of themes to explore. It’s a great way for brands to mine their heritage and to tell their stories on their own terms. We definitely want to continue [with this]. I think people like immersion into brand history and legacy, it allows a deeper level of connection,” he said.