All of Europe went crazy for China and everything Chinese was à la mode at the beginning of the eighteenth century in Paris. The merchants and haberdashers from the City of Light took advantage of the engouement of their customers for the Orient, its painted textiles called “indiennes,” as well as the distinctive porcelaine and lacquer. They transformed, adapted, and imitated these goods to create exotic chinoiseries, thus enabling some of the most extraordinary creations of the eighteenth-century decorative arts.
Anne Forray-Carlier has been the head curator of the 17th- and 18th-century furniture department at the Decorative Art Museum of Paris since 2007. She has studied at the Ecole du Louvre, the University Paris IV Sorbonne, and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. She succeeded the selective course exam to become a cultural heritage officer before being appointed at the Musée Carnavalet, where she worked for nineteen years as an exhibit commissioner. Madame Forray-Carlier is the author of many publications on decorative arts furniture with Faton Edition, including one the Musée Carnavalet collection and another on the Chateau de Chantilly’s own furniture. She also teaches at the Ecole du Louvre and the Institut National du Patrimoine.
Recorded Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at Alliance Française de Chicago.