Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A study of Victorian Design: The Persian Parlor

With everything going on, getting the shop space ready, moving not only inventory but our own stuff...and we have a lot of stuff...the Persian Parlor sits. I had placed one chair in it so I could occasionally take a break and sit there and marvel at its artistry. It is a 17x23 ft work of art and my job going forward will be to conserve and lightly restore it while preserving its "aged elegance". This week we began finally moving some things in to the space. After all we are moving in so it proves me an opportunity to study the space more and as we bring things in, determine how to "set the stage" and find the best selection of items from our collection for it.

What we know about Victorian design  comes from photos and some historical accounts of the era as well as books about "design" which often were personalized tomes about one persons opinion on what was good design. Colors of the era were 'described' but only when you have a "document room" like we have at the Burgman Building can one see first hand exactly what it looked like. Furniture placement in large rooms is often difficult as there are no records describing how this room was furnished so its a calculated and educated 'guess' at best. Most likely this room had a double parlor approach with two distinct seating areas under the two gasoliers that were originally in the space. In my minds eye I know how it will eventually look but at this stage it is introducing things into the space and then studying how they will work and play with the room's walls.

A good design trick is to take a photo of a space then edit it down to black and white. If when you have done that it looks like you are looking at an old photo and the balance of the shade of grays looks "period" you probably have it right. As we can see from the same photo in Black and white and color this balance looks right.

So over the next few weeks we move some stuff in , move some stuff out, mice things around and at some point things will be just right. But for now I am still packing and moving so this exercise will be a work in progress.

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