January 27, 2015 through April 19, 2015
Diamonds are Forever: The Incredible Journeys of World-Famous Diamonds & the People Who Owned Them, provides the unique opportunity to experience the dazzling beauty of world-famous diamonds while tracing their circuitous journeys from the mines of present-day India to the hands of the rich and famous across Europe and the United States. These stories are told through 18 quarter-life-size Historical Figures created by artist George S. Stuart of Ojai, California and 10 replica diamonds created by Scott Sucher of Tijeras, New Mexico.
The Historical Figures featured in this exhibit include Catherine the Great, Louis XIV, Napolean and the Shah Jahan. Among the historic diamonds featured in the exhibition are the Hope, the French Blue, the Regent, the Beau Sancy, the Koh-i-Noor, the Orlov, and the Mirror of Portugal. Several of these diamonds landed in the coffers of European royalty where they were frequently incorporated into jewelry, including crowns, scepters, pendants and even hair ornaments. Several of these gems’ histories extend beyond the treasuries of European Kings and Queens. Some were sold, stolen, broken up, and/or recut. Others have simply vanished. The histories surrounding each stone run the gamut of human drama, including murder, betrayal, envy, greed, carelessness, romance and heartbreak.
About the Artists
Artist, historian, and raconteur- these are descriptions that aptly suit George Stuart, a student and practitioner of all three disciplines for more than fifty years. Mr. Stuart’s life work grew from a desire to meet the artistic challenge of creating life-like sculptures of individual personalities. Since the 1940s he has rendered more than four hundred historical portraits in mixed media and continues to create Figures to this day, which are internationally renowned for their exquisite detail and historical accuracy. Learn more about Mr. Stuart’s process >>
Sucher has dedicated his life to the documentation and replication of famous historical diamonds. He travels the world conducting ongoing research and sharing his knowledge and passion through educational presentation. He has also appeared on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel. His full-scale replicas, made from cubic zirconia, have been exhibited world-wide and earned him high praise from experts within the gem and jewelry industry.
Exclusively for this exhibition, Scott Sucher produced one-quarter scale replicas of world-famous diamonds that now adorn a select group of George Stuart’s Historical Figures®. Queen Victoria wears the Koh-i-Noor in her crown, Empress Catherine the Great holds her Imperial Scepter containing the Orlov, Louis XIV has the French Blue set in a cravat pin, the Mirror of Portugal adorns Elizabeth I’s hair ornament and the Regent adorns the hair ornament of Marie Antoinette.
This exhibit was developed and produced by the Museum of Ventura County. All images courtesy of the Museum of Ventura County. All rights reserved. This is the only Arizona engagement of this exhibit to date.
TMTM Presents: Face to Face
This video, produced by The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, features excerpts from a talk given by George Stuart when he was visiting for the exhibit, Shaping Arizona Statehood: The George Stuart Historical Figures of the Movement West, in January 2012.