Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces is an exhibition of approximately 150 sizable pieces of jewelry from Bulgari's Heritage Collection, including masterpieces from the historical archives of the company headquarters in Rome and on loan from private collections. This retrospective marks the first time the storied jeweler has showcased pieces representing every period since its Roman beginnings in 1884.
From his first jewelry shop in Rome, Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari pioneered a level of skill and vision that set the stage for audacious designs and distinctive style that would become known as the Italian School of jewelry design. After the company moved to its flagship store on the prestigious Via dei Condotti in Rome in 1905, Sartirio's sons changed the spelling of the name to Bvlgari with the original Latin v of the family name. Inspired by the art and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, Bulgari would soon become synonymous with the Eternal City, revolutionizing jewelry design in the process. Boasting distinctive shapes, fabulous stones, brilliant colors and unparalleled craftsmanship, Bulgari's extraordinary designs have long attracted legions of strong, beautiful women.
By the time the company opened its first U.S. Store in New York in 1971, it had long cemented its status as the preeminent jeweler to the stars. Included in the Houston exhibition are pieces from the collection of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who became almost as famous for her love of Bulgari jewels as for her on-screen triumphs. Other pieces in the exhibition belonged to or were worn by iconic women past and present, including Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Isabella Rossellini, Gina Lollobrigida, Anna Magnani, Juliette Binoche, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Aniston, Claudia Schiffer, Elizabeth Hurley, Rachel Weisz, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.