France

Cup of Joe on the Go


This Traveling Coffee Service from the late 19th century was ahead of its time in many ways. What could be better than a little briefcase with all of the parts required to make a fresh pot of joe on the go?
coffee set, consumer, brewer, silver, ivory, France, 19th century, product design

Fans of Art Nouveau


This beautiful folding fan is one of a pair of similar fans in the Art Nouveau style in the collection of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.  The silk net leaves of both fans are decorated with cotton needle and bobbin lace embellished with shiny steel spangles.  The sticks are identical in both fans and are made of tortoiseshell embedded with steel spangles.  The guard sticks have a wavy, serpentine form and there is a glass stone at both rivets.  Both fans depict elegant floral motifs, irises in one and thistles in the other that appear to be growing out of the fou
fans, France, Art Nouveau, Les Modes, Develleroy

Inspired by Opera


A French embroidered waistcoat dated between 1785-1795 shows Dido and Aeneas in a scene from Didon, a 1783 opera by the Italian composer Niccolò Piccini (1728-1800). The opera’s librettos were composed by Jean-François Marmontel (1723-1799), a highly-respected French historian and writer. Derived from Virgil’s Aeneid, the opera tells a fictional version of the story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, and the Trojan hero, Aeneas, who went on to found the Roman race.
waistcoat, France, Didon

Vive la France! Vive Chantilly! Vive Elegance!


Kakiemon, the  famed Japanese originator of the style that bears this name,  was the first to bring enamel to the fabric of porcelain in 17th-century Japan. Kakiemon decoration was of very high quality, known for its delicate and asymmetric—yet well balanced—designs.
Kakiemon, Porcelain, France, Louis XV, Chantilly, 18th century

The Queen of Roses


Above all flowers, Queen Marie Antoinette prized roses. She was often painted with roses in hand or displayed in her hair. Certain portraits—as well as this mirror design from 1781–90—featured rose garlands as decorative motifs. Though roses were her favorite, all flowers were of great importance to the Queen, both wild and cultivated.
Marie-Antoinette, Richard de Lalande, mirror, rose, flowers, garland, Léon Decloux, monogram, drawing, graphite, France, royalty, Versailles

Lace in Concert


The cravat is an early version of a man’s necktie. It could be a plain piece of white linen tied around the neck, with the free ends falling below the throat. A gentleman’s cravat would have been decorated with fine lace, as lace was especially fashionable for men in the 17th century. During this period, the greatest lace makers were working in Italy and Belgium. France, however, wished to create a competing industry that would stop the costly imports of lace.
cravat, France, needle lace, fashion, 17th century, Charles LeBrun, Jean Bèrain the elder

Delicate Buttons for Delicate Lives


For centuries before Velcro and zippers came along, there were buttons! These charming scenes, carved from ivory and placed on colored foil, reflect tremendous care and skill and highlight the importance of buttons as fashion accessories. Even today, the choice of buttons can greatly impact the overall impression of a garment.
buttons, fashionable, ivory, fashion, accessories, France

Behind Closed Doors: How Royalty Lived in Nineteenth-Century Paris


Hilaire Thierry’s exquisite drawing, Salon in the Restoration Taste, from the early 1820s, is one of more than 70 19th-century European interiors from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that are on view at the Musée de la Vie Romantique through January 15, 2013. The exhibition, Intérieurs Romantiques, highlig
Hilaire Thierry, 19th century, interiors, France, drawing, Musée de la Vie Romantique, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Château de Saint-Cloud, Louis XVIII, Duc and Duchesse de Berry

Cooper-Hewitt: Rococo, The Continuing Curve


From its inception, exuberant, organic, and sensuous rococo style has inspired subsequent revivals and new movements. As rococo's influence once again gains momentum, Cooper-Hewitt invites scholars Laura Auricchio and Paul Greenhalgh to discuss the social and cultural histories behind rococo in eighteenth-century France and its revival in Art Nouveau at the end of the nineteenth century.
rococo, continuing curve, Exhibition, 18th century, France, 19th century, revival, Art Nouveau, Laura Auricchio, Paul Greenhalgh, gail davidson, talk, long, public program

Cooper-Hewitt: Crossing Boundaries - The Transmission of Rococo


During its first wave of influence, the sinuous and sensuous curves of rococo rapidly spread across France, Holland, and Germany,developing a unique personality in each location. Cooper-Hewitt invites curators Henry Hawley, Reinier Baarsen, and Wolfram Koeppe to a panel discussion that examines the diaspora of rococo during the eighteenth century, and the regional differences in its expression.
Crossing Boundaries, rococo, transmission, France, Holland, Germany, Henry Hawley, Reinier Baarsen, Wolfram Koeppe, curator, diaspora, 18th century, panel, talk, long, public program

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