“Gems! The Art and Nature of Precious Stones,” the latest exhibit at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, Calif., highlights the gem collection of Michael M. Scott, the first president of Apple Computer Inc. The exhibit displays more than 300 rare gems, including the world’s largest tanzanite, weighing 242 cts. and set in a white gold tiara with 1,000 diamonds; a suite of diamonds showing all the rare colors, including red; a flawless, 1-in. diamond cube weighing 156 cts.; a 25-ct. octahedron; a 104-ct. Paraíba tourmaline crystal; a 10-ct. “pigeon’s blood” red ruby, set in an antique ring; a 64-ct. royal blue sapphire from Sri Lanka set in a yellow gold cobra stand; and a 16-ct. padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka.
The exhibit includes 14 gem and silver sculptures by American artist John Marshall; 13 gem carvings by contemporary German artist Bernd Munsteiner; four intricate carvings of animals by German artist Gerd Dreher; and four pieces of antique jewelry from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.
In conjunction with the exhibit, the Bowers is hosting a lecture series, a feature film, and a documentary film series. Speakers include Peter C. Keller, geologist and president since 1991 of the Bowers Museum, presenting an overview of the world of gemstones. Elise Misiorowski, one of the Gemological Institute of America’s experts in estate gems and jewelry, will provide an overview of the jewelry worn at the beginning and end of the 20th century. “Gemstones of North America” is the topic for renowned author and mineralogy/gemology expert John Sinkankas. John Koivula, author and chief gemologist for GIA, will focus on inclusions and the internal world of gemstones. The National Gem Collection will be a natural topic for Jeffrey Post, curator of the Mineral Sciences Division, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. And finally, silversmith artist John Marshall, art professor at the University of Washington, describes his work in “Gems!”
“Gems! The Art and Nature of Precious Stones” will be on view through June 2, 2002. The Bowers is located in Orange County, four miles south of Disneyland. For more information, call (714) 567-3600 or visit www.bowers.org.