A celebrated jeweler, passionate collector, and talented writer, Henri Vever (1854–1942) was an extraordinary figure in belle epoque Paris. Born in Metz, France, Vever and his older brother Paul managed the family’s Paris-based jewelry firm (Maison Vever). Throughout his life, Vever amassed an exceptional collection of European paintings, Japanese prints, and Persian and Mughal manuscript illustrations, many of which are housed today in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Tokyo National Museum, and the Freer and Sackler, respectively.
These talks celebrate Professor Willa Silverman’s publication of Vever’s 1898 diary, kept in the F|S Archives, as a book titled Henri Vever, Champion de l’Art Nouveau. Silverman, the Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies and head of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at Penn State; Sonia Coman, the Anne van Biema Fellow for Japanese art at the Freer|Sackler; and Massumeh Farhad, Freer|Sackler chief curator and the Ebrahimi Family Curator of Persian, Turkish, and Arab Art, will discuss Vever’s fascinating life as one of the most successful Parisian jewelers and remarkable collectors of Asian art of his time.