September 2018

L'École abroad

L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, Returns to Tokyo from February 23 to March 8, 2019

The Only Education and Cultural Platform of its Kind Worldwide, L’ÉCOLE Provides Accessible, Hands-On Engagement for Audiences of All Ages and Backgrounds

Courses, Exhibitions, Evening Conversations, and Creative Workshops Hosted at

Kyoto University of Art & Design / Gaien Campus in Tokyo

Saturday, February 23rd – Friday, March 8th, 2019


L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts returns to Tokyo early in the spring of 2019 with a series of courses, exhibitions, and evening conversations that invite the public to immerse themselves in the art of jewelry guided by leading experts.

Opened in 2012 in Place Vendôme, Paris, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts is the world's only educational and cultural institution that opens the door to the world of jewelry for the general public.

L’ÉCOLE is run with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, and welcomes anyone who is passionate about learning, regardless of age or experience. Over 30,000 people from 44 countries have taken the opportunity to gain the deep and diverse education about jewelry that L’ÉCOLE provides.

While L’ÉCOLE is based in Paris, its goal is to share its knowledge with the world. Every year, L’ÉCOLE travels to different destinations and offers a varying array of programming. Japan was the first overseas country L’ÉCOLE visited, with a 14-day program held in 2013. Since then, similar programs have been held in Hong Kong, Dubai and New York. L’ÉCOLE now plans to return to Tokyo in early spring 2019.


In February 2019, L’ÉCOLE Special Japan Program will be held over a 14-day period at the Gaien Campus of Kyoto University of Art and Design, located in Gaienmae, Tokyo. All of the instructors will travel to Japan from Paris and, via Japanese interpreters, will teach the same courses that are offered at L’ÉCOLE in Paris. The courses will be accompanied by exceptional exhibitions about jewelry, talk-based lectures called “Evening Conversations”, and kids' workshops, providing fresh knowledge to jewelry enthusiasts in Japan through a variety of formats.


A full schedule for L’ÉCOLE Special Japan Program will be posted at in December 2018.

All courses and evening conversations can be applied for online on this website.


The following hashtags can be used on social media.

#LECOLEJapan   #LECOLEVanCleefArpels



“Traditionally, the jewelry arts have been rooted in the expertise of a select few and passed down through direct apprenticeship,” said Marie Vallanet-Delhom, President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts. “L’ÉCOLE’s programs break down barriers to the vast and enchanting world of jewelry for everyone. Whether you’re a collector or wear only your wedding band; whether you’re an engineer, a painter, or a school teacher; you’ll learn directly from our experts and the only prerequisite is a desire to learn.”


“We are proud to support L’ÉCOLE’s broad educational mission, providing object-based learning in the jewelry arts around the world,” said Nicolas Bos, Global President & Chief Executive Officer, Van Cleef & Arpels. “Anyone can learn to determine the difference between related stones, admire the craftsmanship that goes into each detail in a setting, and discover the symbolic references that inspire the great designs of today.”


 Marking L’ÉCOLE’s most expansive Japan program to date, the spring 2019 program will feature 15 courses, 5 workshops designed for children and teens, and several evening conversations that bring together experts across the disciplines of art, science, history, and technology. Exhibitions will also enhance the educational programs.




Each class can be taken à la carte, in any order, and is offered multiple times throughout the two-week residency to provide flexibility in scheduling. Leading scholars in the fields of science, art, and history guide every class, with faculty that includes jewelers, designers, mockup artists, art and jewelry historians, gemologists, and lacquer artists. The classes will be between 2-4 hours long, led by 2-4 teachers with a maximum of 12 students. Class size is limited to ensure an intimate experience, and student interaction is fueled both by a shared passion for the jewelry arts and the chance to mingle during receptions prior to each class. The fee for each course ranges from ¥13,500 to ¥27,000 (with tax).


L’ÉCOLE offers three types of courses:

  • “Savoir-Faire” classes allow each student, even novices, to don a jeweler’s coat and personally handle and manipulate materials and tools.
  • “Art History of Jewelry” classes explore the practical and aesthetic evolutions of jewelry from ancient times through today.
  • “Universe of Gemstones” classes illuminate the mysteries of how gems are created and valued through observation and experiment.

  • The program will feature courses held in Tokyo for the first time, including a Savoir Faire course in which participants will create a real gouaché painting of fine jewelry, and History of Jewelry courses in which participants can learn about the birth of jewelry or how precious jewelry pieces were used as talismans.


    The following creative workshops and exhibitions will be also be held in Tokyo for the first time.



    New Creative Workshops

    As a school aiming to pass on jewelry culture to future generations, L’ÉCOLE welcomes children who are interested in jewelry. Five creative workshops will be held for kids and teens (ages 5-16), where they can discover the richness of the jewelry world and the joy of jewelry making.

    The workshops will last 2 hours and cost ¥2,160 (with tax)


    New Exhibitions

    L’ÉCOLE is also dedicated to advancing the scholarship and appreciation of jewelry arts through exhibitions and publications. These showcase many different areas of the jewelry arts, piquing the interest of people from all walks of life.

    3 exhibitions will be held during the Special Japan Program.

  • The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King
    Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a 17th-century adventurer who brought thousands of diamonds to King Louis XIV. 20 particularly incredible diamonds have been studied continuously by L’ÉCOLE and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, and replicas have been made to keep their beauty alive for current generations. These replicas will be displayed at this exhibition, along with elements that trace the steps of Tavernier's travels.  It will be a great opportunity for the Japanese public to discover the fabulous story behind one of the most famous historical collections of diamonds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             See more information on the exhibition "The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier's Diamonds"

  • Harumi Klossowska de Rola: Vestigia Naturae
    The daughter of the famous painter Balthus and the Japanese artist countess Setsuko, this European-based jewelry designer has created in the past few years unique pieces for several fine jewelers. This exhibition showcases the latest of her highly creative jewelry and art objects.  A homecoming of sorts for Harumi, this will be one of her first display of her collection in Japan.

  • Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur
    As a school that travels the world, L’ÉCOLE holds exhibitions that offer precious glimpses of private collections owned by each region's jewelry collectors. L’ÉCOLE’s jewelry collection exhibition in Japan will feature exceptional pieces from a famous jewelry collector.The exhibitions will be open to the general public throughout the program.


    11:00am-18:00pm February 23 (Sat.) - March 8 (Fri.), 2019. Admission free.


    A complimentary catalogue, written by jewelry historians, researchers and other experts, will be available at the entrance of each exhibition.



    Evening Conversations

    L’ÉCOLE will also hold talk-based lectures called “Evening conversations”.  Led by two experts, each conversation will explore a topic in the world of jewelry from a variety of perspectives. They will begin with a cocktail reception in a French-style salon, perfectly setting a relaxed mood.

    As with the courses, reservations for the conversation can be made on the official website.

    These conversations by L’ÉCOLE will be held multiple times. See the appendix for details.


    About L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts

    L’ÉCOLE was opened in 2012 in Place Vendôme, Paris, with the support of fine jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. It is the first school in the world to invite everyone from professional connoisseurs to the general public to explore the world of jewelry arts. In addition to providing courses (in English and French) throughout the year in Paris, L’ÉCOLE has expanded its educational programs worldwide with special courses, talks and exhibitions in locations such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and Dubai. L’ÉCOLE also carries out various forms of research support, including publications and partnerships with museums and academic institutions, online educational videos and a library specialized in jewelry arts.



    Media Contacts

    L’ÉCOLE Tokyo Press bureau:

    Takeu, Komiyama, Togawa (INITIAL Inc.)


  • Tavernier Exhibition Poster

  • Through the eyes of a connoisseur
    Exhibition Poster

  • Vestigia Naturae
    Exhibition Poster

  • Kyoto University of Art & Design
    Gaien Campus in Tokyo

All images are copyrighted to L’ECOLE, School of Jewelry Arts (unless otherwise stated in the photo caption).