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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Date: ca. 1774, with later additionsAccession Number: 1972.276.1
Date: mounts ca. 1760–70, porcelain early 18th centuryAccession Number: 49.7.80, .81
Guillaume Benneman (active 1785, died 1811)
Date: 1786–87Accession Number: 1971.206.17
Georges Jacob (French, 1739–1814, master 1765)
Date: ca. 1786Accession Number: 1971.206.16
Jean Henri Riesener (French, Gladebeck, near Hessen 1734–1806 Paris)
Date: ca. 1790Accession Number: 1977.102.8
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Devoted to the decorative arts of seventeenth- and especially eighteenth-century France, The Wrightsman Galleries (522–529, 531–533, and 545–547) display the Museum's holdings of furniture, Savonnerie carpets, gilt bronze, Sèvres porcelain, silver, and gold boxes. Since the 1963 acquisition of the paneling from the Hôtel de Varengeville and the Palais Paar with funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, these rooms have borne the Wrightsmans' name.
Enriching the Museum's already strong collections of French decorative arts, many of the objects and furnishings on display here were gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Wrightsman. This gallery displays paneling originally commissioned for a private house, the Hôtel de Cabris, in Grasse, in southern France. Executed in Paris in about 1774, the decoration of the woodwork—with its dignified moldings, geometrical forms, and classical ornament—is a pure expression of the Neoclassical style and has retained much of its original gilding. Installed as a period room, the gallery displays French furniture and objects of decorative arts that are contemporary with the paneling but derive from other sources, including a fire screen by Georges Jacob from Marie Antoinette’s boudoir at Fontainebleau and several other pieces with a French royal provenance.
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