Historical Figures® News: April 2014

Visit the Gallery!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fabulous Diamonds Are Forever Exhibit
Opens May 3 in Ventura


For the first time ever, replicas of the world's famous historical diamonds will be exhibited with their equally famous owners. Dispersed among the Figures will be the Koh-i-Noor, the Hope, the French Blue, the Orlov, the Beau Sancy and many more. Why Figures and diamonds? 

Connections 

Over the last four centuries, thousands of powerful rulers, clergy and rich have wielded great political power. George Stuart has spent a lifetime studying these characters, and bringing many to life as Historical Figures. Then he brings their personalities with his entertaining monologs. No one is as dedicated to representing so much of history in such a realistic way. Well, perhaps one other.

While assisting Mr. Stuart with research for a monolog in 2013, we encountered another artist doing great work in visualizing history. Scott Sucher of MuseumDiamonds.com sculpts, but not historical characters. Rather he researches, and then painstakingly cuts precise replicas of history's famous diamonds.
Scott Sucher, "Stone Cutter" Extraordinaire  
The two artists have much in common with each other and other no-nonsense historians. Each are exhaustive researchers and each make every effort to attain historical and visual accuracy. Interestingly, both have extracted resources from resources worldwide. They receive acclaim by their peers and appreciated of the public. Both have seen their work featured in major TV documentaries.
Louis XIV sporting the French Blue diamond.
What is truly amazing is that the works of Stuart and Sucher have crossed paths frequently on the historical timeline. For centuries,famous diamonds have been owned or controlled by the same characters Stuart has so carefully documented. His Historical Figures filled their treasuries, adorned their loved ones, bought, sold, stole, hocked, and gifted diamonds. They paid for wars, bought brides, pleased lovers and too often paid for wars, debts or ransoms.
The recorded history as well as many tales surrounding these events and transactions are mostly true, usually audacious, sometimes earth-shaking and always interesting.

The Exhibit

What Ariane Karakalos, Curator at the Museum of Ventura County is planning for the exhibit is spectacular, yet quite precise. Figures and full life-sized diamond replicas are grouped to tell stories. Most Figures will be adorned with quarter life size diamond replicas cut by Sucher and mounted in jewelry by Stuart. In all, about eight stories will be told.

There is Elizabeth I wearing the Mirror of Portugal diamond. How the Virgin Queen came to own several important diamonds from Portugal's royal jewels is a very interesting story.

How did the French Blue diamond become the Hope diamond, and end up in the Smithsonian? Three French rulers Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI all treasured the diamond, but fate was not kind.

Did a discarded lover of Catherine the Great really try to get back in her good graces by giving her the magnificent Orlov diamond that bears his name? Or, was he really on a secret mission for his empress?

What was Prince Albert's involvement with the splendid Koh-i-Noor diamond, that adorned his Queen Victoria and was displayed at the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace.

The balance of Sucher's magnificent collection, more than 30 historical diamond replicas in all will be exhibited for the first showing ever west of the Mississippi.

Beau Sancy Diamond worn by
Queen Marie de Medici.
If you just can't wait to read about historical diamonds, see Mary Harrsch's Passionate about History blog, GIA article or many dedicated websites and books.

The Presentations 

Where were these stupendous gems mined? How did they make their way to the palaces of Europe from the mines of India, Brazil and South Africa? How did diamond cutting techniques evolve over the centuries? All of these questions and more will be addressed in the exhibit and presentations by the artists and guest speakers.

Please see the Museum website for details.

The Museum of Ventura is planning many special events during the Diamonds are Forever exhibit. Here are those confirmed:

Opening Reception on May 2 from 5pm to 8pm
Speak with artists George Stuart and Scott Sucher


Exhibit Open May 3 through August 24, 2014 from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday


French Blue Diamond - intriguing story spans 400 years.

Scott Sucher Presentations on May 3 from 2pm to pm
 Tracking the Hope Diamond, and
 The Evolution of Diamond Cutting

Free First Sunday program by Scott & Karen Sucher on May 4 from 10 am to 12 noon.
Be Rocked and Be Dazzled, 
a hands-on experience for children of all ages.

Free First Friday on June 6 from 5pm to 8pm
Jewels & Jewelia
a social gathering, book signing and jewelry sale.

Free with Museum Admission Wednesday, Curator Ariane Karakalos & Historical Figures Foundation Ex. Dir. Leroy Becker on June 18 at 1pm and Saturday, June 21 at 1pm
     *SPEAK!
Learn about the jewelry enhancements for the Historical Figures

  *George Stuart Monolog on Sunday July 13 at 2pm
     Little Known Stories of Famous Diamonds
Learn how the famous diamonds connected with their famous owners.

*George Fox of Fox Fine Jewelry, presentation on Sunday, July 27 at 2pm

Cuts, Color & Conflict: 

How the Diamond Industry Has Changed

NOTE: Small ticket fees may apply to some events with “*”.

Special Invitations

The general public of all ages will likely find Diamonds are Forever a delightful and educational experience. For aficionados of world history and diamonds, the exhibit promises a special resonance. From amateur rock and gem enthusiasts to precious stone collectors and jewelry trade professionals, the exhibit is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

For More Information

Contact the Museum of Ventura County at (805) 653-0323 or email the Historical Figures Foundation at info@galleryhistoricalfigures.org.