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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WORLD BEAT: British Museum Kicks Off Art Nouveau Show




LONDON -- Art nouveau, the elegantly curled decorative style that helped usher in the modern world 100 years ago, gets majestic exposure in a new exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum.


The exhibition, which opened last week, includes all the great names of the movement and many of their masterworks. Among some 380 objects gathered from 70 lenders in 20 countries is that icon of the era, a Paris Metro station entrance designed by Hector Guimard.


The first thing visitors will see is a stunning jewel - a corsage ornament in the shape of a woman with a dragonfly's body and 26.5-centimeter wingspan, made in 1897 by Ren? Lalique from gold, enamel, chrysoprase, moonstones and diamonds.


"It's Lalique's most famous piece and I think the most marvelous jewel ever made,'' curator Paul Greenhalgh said.


The show took five years to put together and is the most comprehensive since an exhibition in Turin, Italy in 1902, when the style was in its heyday.


"Art Nouveau 1890-1914'' runs through July 30.