Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Wednesday, 1/14/09

The museum entrance:

“Evolution du siège, du Moyen âge à nos jours” (The evolution of the chair from the Middle Ages to our days)

This tour with Vincent was one of my favorites of the entire trip.  The title of the visit listed on our program was “the evolution of the chair, from the Middle Ages to today,” and we were all under the impression that we were going to see a public exhibit on chairs.  Once we started the tour, however, we realized that Vincent had designed this tour specifically for us, to look at the chairs in each room of larger displays, and to study the style of specific chairs and learn about the lifestyles of people who lived in that period. We started with furniture of the Middle Ages- which was straight and simple.  We then saw many chairs that got progressively more stylized and comfortable.  I think the most innovative improvements were arm rests and removable cushions.  Vincent explained in  detail the specific changes and how people sat differently in each chair.  This was a good lesson on etiquette from every era! We even saw a chair that was partly made out of papier-mâché!  My favorite section was devoted to the 1970's, which had colorful chairs of all shapes and sizes that seemed completely impractical but worked great as an exhibit.  In the final room we visited, the museum allowed us to test out the chairs for a rest before we continued our day. 


Chairs, chairs, chairs:


A red lips couch from the exhibit "Rouge":