Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Art Nouveau Bedroom at the VMFA

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Loretta reports:

In addition to my lengthy visit with Catching Sight, the sporting prints exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I had time to wallow in the Sidney and Francis Lewis galleries.  Among other glories, these house what the New York Times describes as “the most important collection of Art Nouveau outside Paris.”

The collection, of which I now have several hundred pictures, includes jewelry, furniture, household utensils, ceramics, lamps, and stained glass.  Since I’m not an art historian, I’ll not attempt to explain Art Nouveau, its origins and philosophy, but refer you to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Wikipedia entries on the subject,  and take you directly to this showstopper of a bedroom set by Louis Marjorelle.

The set, made about 1905-1908, is of mahogany, rosewood, marquetry of woods, bronze, gilding, and upholstery.

“The suite, among the most important Art Nouveau furniture in the United States, was illustrated in a 1909 French magazine and originally on view at the 1909 International Exhibition of Eastern France in Nancy.   As in a contemporary furniture showroom, a patron at Majorelle’s gallery would select individual objects such as a bed, cabinet, or chair from the showroom floor or an illustrated  catalog.”

The gilded bronze water lilies appear in much of Majorelle's furniture, as seen in a similar bed at the Musée d’Orsay

Quoted material is from information provided at the museum.


Darlene Marshall said...

Oooh, furniture porn! I'm getting the same hot rush of desire I feel when I'm leafing through the Thomas Moser furniture catalog. Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne said...

This collection never gets enough attention. You'll find your excellent post featured on today's VMFA FB and Twitter platforms.

We can imagine this collection working its way into your fiction!

DLM said...

The VMFA is a truly stunning museum in every gallery, a cultural treasure I've been blessed to know all my life. So pleased to see this here today - and so glad you enjoyed RVA.

ARTS in PARIS said...

What a lovely blog, and how lucky you are to have the VMFA.

My background is French decorative arts, and Art Nouveau has long been a passion.

For anyone who would like to go beyond the Musée d'Orsay (which has a wonderful collection), there is the Musée Victor Horta in Brussels, only an hour and some from Paris.

In Paris, visit the Musée Maxim's. Pierre Cardin has recreated the apartment of a 19th-century courtesan to house his collection of Art Nouveau collected over 60years. I have never taken a client there who hasn't loved it.

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