Forthcoming: Book on the Met’s Wrightsman Galleries

Posted in books, catalogues by Editor on January 2, 2010

A book detailing the Met’s recently renovated Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts is scheduled to appear this spring from Yale University Press:

Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide and Jeffrey Munger, The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts (New Haven: Yale University Press, April 2010), 228 pages, ISBN: 9780300155204, $50

Photo from the blog, 'Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century' (click to visit)

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.

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

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From the Met’s website:

The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts
Reopened 30 October 2007

The Wrightsman Galleries have undergone extensive renovations to improve the presentation of the Museum’s renowned collection of French furniture and related decorative arts pieces—many of which have a royal provenance. The galleries include a number of important artworks previously not on view, including a mid-seventeenth-century carved ebony cabinet on a stand and a late-eighteenth-century carved and gilded state bed, as well as additional pieces of Sèvres porcelain and gold snuff boxes. Renovations to the galleries included the repainting of the paneling in one of the period rooms, the conservation treatment of a large group of objects, and the reupholstering of several pieces of furniture with modern re-creations of their original show covers. In addition to the visible enhancements made to the galleries, important behind-the-scenes renovations included the installation of state-of-the-art climate control and security systems, as well as new lighting and fire suppression systems, which will ensure the continued safety of these spectacular galleries.

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As reported on the website for the Arts Management Network, the lighting designers for the renovated galleries received two awards in 2009:

Auerbach Glasow French, Architectural Lighting Design and Consulting, has won two international lighting design awards for the newly renovated and reinstalled Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Award of Excellence, among the highest honor given by that program, was awarded to the design team and presented on May 6, 2009. Additionally, the Award of Merit of the International Illumination Design Awards was awarded to the designers by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). The IESNA Award was announced on May 12, 2009, and will be presented on November 15, 2009, at the IES Annual Conference.

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