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Red carpet ready: Exhibit showcases spectacular jewels worn by Elizabeth Taylor

Bulgari exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science  Bvlgari Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton_1975_ Bvlgari Everett Collection
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton, wearing Bulgari, in 1975. Photo courtesy of the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Bulgari exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science  Bvlgari Necklace in Platinum with Emeralds and Diamonds - 1961
Bulgari necklace in platinum with emeralds and diamonds, 1961. Photo courtesy of the Houston Museum of Natural Science

The new Bulgari exhibit is a sparkling sanctuary on the third floor of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but to fully appreciate the cases of glittering gems worn by celebrities and the fashionable elite, first make a stop at the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals.

More than 450 examples of Mother Nature’s finest work are on display in the pleasantly dimmed gallery, and offers a little perspective on how a piece of jewelry evolves from its rocky encasement to a stunning emerald, amethyst, turquoise, diamond and gold bib necklace at the hands of Bulgari craftsmen.

The collection of 150 pieces is a heady mix of original luxuries, items discovered at auction and loans from locals such as Lynn Wyatt and Joanne King Herring and from the estate of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.

Now, you’re ready to drink in the beauty that is Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces. The collection of 150 pieces is a heady mix of original luxuries, items discovered at auction and loans from locals such as Lynn Wyatt and Joanne King Herring and from the estate of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.

Taylor’s pieces are on display throughout the exhibit, but the vibrant, sexy feel of the Bulgari/Taylor coupling is most evident in the final gallery space. Hers is the the largest personal collection loan in the exhibition and includes the famed sautoir in platinum with diamonds and sapphires. While scenes from Cleopatra and other Taylor films play in the gallery, her most beloved pieces shine.

Bulgari’s red carpet presence and celebrity connection is seen throughout the exhibit and includes pieces worn by Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston, Juliette Binoche and Jessica Chastain.

The exhibit is a combination of beauty and brains. As Alberto Festa, Bulgari USA president, noted, the partnership with the HMNS was a perfect fit for the luxury jeweler,

“Our brand has an education mission and what better than an exhibition in one of the world’s most visited museums,” Festa said “It's also very well connected to Bulgari with the best display of  mineral crystals.”

Bulgari:130 Years of Masterpieces runs through October.

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