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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 545

The MET : Gallery 545 : Luxury Shopping, 1700–1790

Art From Us, Museum Guide #649

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #649 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum NY’s Gallery 545. Showcasing a collection of Luxury Shopping, 1700–1790

The three works in focus are :

  1. Coffeepot, Francois Thomas Germain, 1757.
  2. Snuffbox, Mathieu Coiny fils, 1759-60.
  3. Tureen with cover, Edme-Pierre Balzac, 1757-59

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #649

Commercialism and capitalism have informed human behaviour and the evolution of society since the very development of these concepts. This is what makes the objects presented in MET Gallery 545 so important.

The Chase for Luxury Goods : Then & Now

In modern society, where aesthetics and materialism take precedence over values and ethics, what a person owns sets them apart from the crowd. What distinguishes one human being from another is what they own and their standard of living – this has been the truth of human society for many centuries now. By understanding and accepting this, we may better perceive the objects presented to us as we visit Gallery 545 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The gallery houses the carved-oak front of a shop that once existed in Île Saint-Louis, Paris. What exactly was sold in this 18th century shop is admittedly not known to the Museum. However, its existence and subsequent place in the Museum are testament to a culture of commerce that has sustained for centuries of human evolution.

The shop itself has been built in a Neoclassical style and catered to high-society clients. One may therefore presume that porcelain and silver objects might have been part of their collection.


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