‘Paris: Life & Luxury’ Opens at the Getty

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 23, 2011

The Getty exhibition on life in an eighteenth-century Parisian townhouse opens next week. The image list is available here. Programming includes the following, as noted in the Press Kit:

Paris: Life & Luxury
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 26 April — 7 August 2011
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 18 September — 10 December 2011

Curated by Charissa Bremer-David with Peter Björn Kerber

Evoking the elegant, prosperous world of Rococo Paris, this major, international loan exhibition brings to life activities that took place inside a Parisian town house over the course of a typical day—from dressing and letter writing to dining, music, and other evening entertainments. Paris: Life and Luxury unites prime examples of the extraordinary creative virtuosity of the period’s great artists and craftsmen, including furniture, fashion, silver, paintings, sculpture, musical instruments, clocks, and books. Rarely shown together, these objects literally and figuratively open up, allowing their functions and the parts they played in the fine art of eighteenth-century Parisian living to be understood by contemporary visitors.


Blogging, Now and Then (250 Years Ago)
Thursday, April 28, 7:00 pm
Long before the Internet, Europeans exchanged information in ways that anticipated blogging. The key element of their information system was the anecdote, a term that meant nearly the opposite then from what it means today. Robert Darnton (Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library at Harvard University) explains how anecdotes became a staple in the daily diet of news consumed by readers in 18th-century France and England.

Street Songs and Sedition in 18th-Century Paris: A Cabaret-Lecture
Saturday, April 30, 7:30 pm
In 18th-century Paris, most information traveled through oral systems of communication, and the most powerful means of transmission was song. Parisians composed new verses to old tunes nearly every day. The songs provided a running commentary on current events. In this presentation, Parisian cabaret artist Hélène Delavault sings historical songs and, with Robert Darnton (Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, Harvard University), explains their complex meanings.

Representing Interiors in French 18th-Century Portraits
Sunday, May 22, 3:00 pm
Xavier Salmon, Director of Patrimony and the Collections at the Château of Fontainebleau, explores the development and significance of domestic portraiture in 18th-century France. During this period, painters were careful to provide indications of the profession or social standing of their sitters, and the genre developed to showcase the subjects in domestic settings.


Life and Luxury in 18th-Century Paris
Saturday, July 16, 10:30 am—3:30 pm
Join this focused course exploring the domestic activities of the 18th-century French elite. Educators Noelle Valentino and Christine Spier, together with one of the exhibition’s curators, examine how decorative arts relate to the daily rituals of the period. Course fee: $35; $25 students.

Culinary Workshop: Taste of Paris
Thursday, June 16, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm; repeats June 17
Travel to an 18th century Parisian town house in the exhibition Paris: Life and Luxury and discover the prevailing culinary and artistic tastes of the prosperous world of Rococo Paris. Then prepare and enjoy a class meal inspired by period foods and recipes. Course fee $75. Open to 20 participants.

A R T I S T – A T – W O R K – D E M O N S T R A T I O N 

Paris Fashion
Sunday, May 1, 15, & 29, and June 5 & 19, 1:00—3:00 pm
Join historic costume designer Maxwell Barr as he explores fashion in the prosperous world of 18th-century Paris. Barr demonstrates the extraordinary craftsmanship and virtuosity of the textiles and designs used to create period clothing. (more…)