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Matisse-inspired jewellery marks new Auckland Art Gallery collection of masterpieces

Matisse Jewellery by SOPHIE for Auckland Art Gallery
An Auckland jeweller has created some striking new pieces to mark the launch of a significant new art collection at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Masterpieces from some of the world’s best-known artists form part of the exhibition The Robertson Gift: Paths through Modernity.

The collection of artworks, largely focusing on modernist works, was a gift from New York philanthropists Julian (1932–2022) and Josie Robertson (1943–2010), and can now be seen in the gallery.

The significant donation from the late couple’s private collection comprises 15 works by influential modern European artists, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Paul Cezanne, André Derain, Henri Fantin-Latour, Paul Gauguin, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrian.

Belinda Cannon, founder of jewellery, fashion and lifestyle brand SOPHIE, has worked with the gallery to create a capsule collection of five jewellery pieces, a keychain, and four pins, to mark the important art collection’s arrival.

The pieces are inspired by works by Henri Matisse, often referred to as the ‘painter of happiness’ for his use of vibrant colour. It’s something that resonated with Cannon, who drew from Matisse’s ‘Four Rosettes’ work to create the playful ‘Matisse Rose’ SOPHIE pieces, now available at the gallery’s gift shop and online.

‘Four Rosettes’ was produced in 1949–50 when Matisse began working almost exclusively with cut pieces of painted paper while designing the stained-glass windows and interior of the Chapelle de Rosaire in the French Riviera town of Venice.

The popular cutouts from Matisse’s 1947 ‘Jazz’ series also inspired the included ‘Matisse Star’ studs and a selection of bold pins, designed to be worn on clothing or handbags. Each pin reflects the vibrant flourishes of improvised colour and syncopated rhythms Matisse shared in this series.

“This was a dream brief,” admits Cannon. “Combining our admiration of such iconic artistic expression with the introduction of uplifting, bold colours has been an exciting new pivot from our often subtle colour palette.”

Emma Pritchard, Retail Operations Manager at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, said the collaboration arose naturally through shared brand vision.

“As a maker whose values so closely align with the gallery’s and whose timeless pieces have always engaged our visitors, there is no one we trusted more to partner with on a new venture to honour these important Matisse artworks joining our collection.”

The Robertson Gift: Paths through Modernity runs until 1 February 2026.


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