What is an 18th-century period room, anyway? Find out from Jacques, an animated footman who lived in the Salon Doré, as he explains who used a salon de compagnie and why.
One of the most prominent decorative elements in the Salon Doré is a pair of candelabra, one of which was significantly damaged during the Loma Prieta earthquake. In this 3D animation, watch as the object’s elements are reassembled through the work of museum conservators.
Master carver Adam Thorpe discusses the architectural style of the carving found in the Salon Doré and demonstrates how he carved the paneling’s missing elements using tools similar to those employed by the room’s original craftsmen.
In this video Natasa Morovic, Conservator of Frames and Gilded Surfaces for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, demonstrates the method of water gilding. To achieve the most accurate presentation of the room’s original appearance, Morovic employed this centuries-old technique to restore the gilded surfaces of the Salon Doré.
For 18 months, from 2012 to 2014, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco conservators and technicians worked to conserve and restore the 18th-century period room known as the Salon Doré at the Legion of Honor. This complex project brought together a diverse team of experts, from architects to electricians, each with a unique skill set necessary for the project’s successful execution. Throughout the entire process, conservators worked in an open gallery that allowed the public to observe their work in action.
Although the Legion of Honor’s new presentation of the Salon Doré is the first of its kind in an American museum, there are several other similar French period rooms in Europe, the United States, and beyond. Compare the Salon Doré’s new installation with other 18th-century period rooms around the world in this interactive map.
Since its first known installation in 1781, the Salon Doré has been moved seven times, including its most recent renovation. Following the fortunes of aristocrats, collectors, and art dealers, the period room finally made its way into the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in 1959.
One day each year—April 12 in 2014—people all over the world visit local museums and galleries to look at art slowly. Participants look at five works of art for 10 minutes each and then meet together to talk about their experience. That’s it. Simple by design, the goal is to focus on the art and the art of seeing.
Please join us in the museum café for an unguided group discussion of your Slow Art Day observations.