In the 1700s, European cities witnessed a gradual but profound shift in daily life: people stayed up later and partied harder into the night. Many of their nocturnal soirees were private affairs, hosted in elite homes by invitation only. The Grand Salon from the Hôtel de la Bouëxière will be prepped for one of these exclusive parties with a games table for card-playing (the night-loving aristocrat’s favorite diversion), candlesticks, and the required stimulants: coffee and chocolate. Of course, staying up late meant burning the midnight oil, so artificial lighting with candles and fire increased in importance during this time. New lighting in the Salon will simulate the effects of flickering flames, revealing the warm glow of gilded paneling and metalwork in a “nighttime” setting.
This project is part of Living Rooms, an initiative to present Mia’s historic interiors and decorative arts collections in new ways.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website