Two wooden puppets engage in a furious game of tug-of-war with a pocket watch. A sparkling diamond ring is suspended by a large pair of tongs leaning against a stark block of ice. A fat log stuck with the pocket knife some heartsick youngster used to carve “I love you” inside a crude heart serves as the backdrop for heart-shaped diamond rings placed carefully on a forest path.

These animated scenes stir powerful surprise, sentiment and appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of the jewelry, and they are among the more than 5,000 magical and sometimes surreal images Gene Moore designed for Tiffany &Co.’s five windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The engineering of Moore’s designs left 40 years of passersby captivated ­ including Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, munching a doughnut and peering into the window at Moore’s carefully lighted miniature chandeliers.

Moore’s windows are the subjects of “Moon Over Pearl: Gene Moore’s Tiffany Windows and Beyond,” an exhibit at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City through Jan. 4. Named for his famous display spotlighting a scattered strand of cultured pearls with the light of a giant, pearl-like moon, the exhibit is a stroll through a dimly lit forest and a display of re-created windows, dozens of mounted photographs of favorite designs and casually placed scrapbooks of sketches, photos and articles.

Moore, who joined Tiffany & Co. as display director in 1955 and went on to become a vice president, used every element he could in his designs: eggshells, chalk, pasta, leaves and dirt, sand, spools of thread, models of animals and intricate wire and wooden figures. He combined elements in striking ways, suspending objects in impossible ways, contrasting sizes or dramatically multiplying objects. (In one window, six rows of dinner forks stand at attention, holding up a wooden puppet that raises a single fork into the air.) In many windows, he went boldly against the traditional jewelry display theory of playing down the design to highlight the jewelry; Moore’s windows are often bold and busy, but the eye is always drawn to the jewelry.

The exhibition is free to the public at the Museum of FIT, Seventh Ave. and 27th St., New York, NY 10001-5992; (212) 760-7760.


More than 200 unique pieces of jewelry, clocks, watches and other items made by Cartier during the early part of this century will comprise a new exhibit, “Cartier: 1900-1939,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City April 2 to Aug. 3.

The exhibit will highlight achievements during the decades Louis Cartier, son of founder Louis-François Cartier, led the company to become a principal proponent of Art Deco style. Cartier was founded 150 years ago, and the exhibit is part of its celebration throughout the year.

In addition to the jewelry, the exhibit will include archival photography, client order books, idea sketches, design drawings and recently discovered original plaster casts of finished jewelry. Advances featured in the exhibit include Cartier’s development of a purer form of platinum that allowed the reduction of setting size in relation to the gems used in a piece. The company’s use of design in conjunction the changing artistic tastes of the era helped to make fine jewelry more about design than opulence.

The Metropolitan Museum will offer tours, lectures, films and other educational programs in conjunction with the exhibit, which is organized by the Metropolitan Museum and the British Museum in London.

In addition to the exhibition, a collection of limited-edition objets, called Cartier Privé, will be displayed worldwide. These include gold watches, jewel-clasped handbags, scarves, scent bottles, pens with built-in timepieces, jewelry and the Cartier Love bracelet.

The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris will display its entire permanent collection from January through May and then present a panorama of history and romance in contemporary art from June to September.

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