Right Now at the Herm

The Curatorial Department presents: the sassiest mannequin ever manufactured anywhere. But why are her arms out like that? Check it —

So she can display Mrs. Sloane’s Art Nouveau opera cape!

The Art Nouveau movement (1890-1914) is characterized by its organic, curvilinear motifs and stylized floral forms inspired by the natural world. As a reaction to the sober academic art of the 19th century (such as L’Art Pompier), the movement redefined modern society and its relationship with art. Artists began to work in all mediums, from textiles to architecture, and the concept of ‘wearable art’ became intensely popular amongst the fashionable elite. Mrs. Sloane’s opera cape exemplifies the Art Nouveau movement and is an especially fine relic of an important age in American art.

Conservation cost: $1685

Have I mentioned that we are recreating Mrs. Sloane’s Dressing Room as part of MOBA? I feel like it’s the only thing I’ve talked about for the past six weeks. It’s been a herculean effort getting everyone on board with my harebrained scheme, but as the layers combine I’m starting to like it a whole lot:

We rehung the drapery and the light fixture using the original hardware. The Dressing table and doors were carefully (carefully) and lovingly (lovingly) carried upstairs by Tom, Colin, and Frank. I like seeing Colin with a broom in his hand. Get to work, son!

The rest of the room is dressed with items stashed in Mrs. Sloane’s closets. Those are real hat boxes, folks. The two dresses featured in this room deserve a post of their own.

The recreation is still incomplete, but we’re all pretty jazzed about the results thus far. We should have everything wrapped up tomorrow, just in time for Wednesday’s opening.


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