The History of the Dressing Table
December 17, 2013–April 13, 2014
The exhibition focuses on the history of the dressing table, or vanity, exploring the antecedents presaging the modern vanity—beginning with ancient Egyptian decorative boxes used to hold cosmetic ephemera and Asian cosmetic carriers. The dressing table as we know it today originated in Europe in the late seventeenth century, specifically in England and France where high society patrons began commissioning luxurious specialized furniture from craftsmen and furniture makers. Few types of furniture have revealed more about changing social customs, leisure pursuits, and popular taste of the past several centuries than the dressing table.