Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry Exhibit

Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels

New York’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum celebrates the world—and serious design cred—of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The debate has raged for years. Is jewelry design or merely decoration? The argument, it seems, has finally been settled. This month the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will mount “Set in Style,” a 300-piece retrospective of Van Cleef & Arpels’s bijoux (through June 5) organized by themes that fans will recognize. Luckily, should these treasures so inspire, there are vitrines of present-day Van Cleef jewels for sale at its boutique just about 30 blocks south.