The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Overview

The Metropolitan’s holdings of late 17th- and 18th-century French decorative arts, unrivaled outside Europe, are on display in nine magnificent paneled period rooms and three galleries. This suite of spaces is named for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, whose extraordinary generosity made the installations possible and who also donated many of the furnishings from their own celebrated collection. The first book on the Wrightsman Galleries since 1979, this beautifully illustrated volume presents detailed ...

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Overview

The Metropolitan’s holdings of late 17th- and 18th-century French decorative arts, unrivaled outside Europe, are on display in nine magnificent paneled period rooms and three galleries. This suite of spaces is named for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, whose extraordinary generosity made the installations possible and who also donated many of the furnishings from their own celebrated collection. The first book on the Wrightsman Galleries since 1979, this beautifully illustrated volume presents detailed descriptions of the period rooms and 116 of the most important artworks on view, including wood paneling and furniture, chimneypieces and fireplace furnishings, textiles and leather, portraits, gilt bronze, porcelain, silver, and decorative boxes, many of which have a royal provenance. The text incorporates the results of recent research and conveys the illuminating comments of contemporaries as expressed in diaries, travel guides, craft manuals, and correspondence.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) curators Kisluk-Grosheide and Munger present a thorough reworking of their 1979 guide to the Wrightsman galleries. Dealing with the most outstanding grouping of 17th- and 18th-century French decorative arts outside of France, the book in hand eschews the room-by-room order of its predecessor and is instead organized by medium—wood paneling and furniture, bronze and mounted porcelain, chimney pieces, textiles and leather, porcelain, silver, and gold boxes. This arrangement shows stylistic developments within media and forms. An opening essay describes the history of French period room display at the Met and makes clear that these installations are evocative collections of objects in reconstructed paneled rooms, assembled one by one from many sources, not an actual historical collection. VERDICT Beautifully done, with excellent photography and frequent details; the entries are models of accessibility backed with substantial scholarship and bibliography. For all arts collections.—Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Libs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300155204
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide and Jeffrey Munger are curators in the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.
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