Monday, October 31, 2011

Monroe Plateau Exhibit

The 14 1/2 foot mirrored plateau in 7 sections was bought by President Monroe in 1817 from Matelin in France.  It had "...16 Figures presenting wreathes for receiving lights [candles] and 16 cups for changing at will, composed of 7 pieces altogether 13 [14] feet 6 inches long, over 2 feet wide, set with its mirrors."  ...

Two segments of the Monroe Plateau are part of the exhibit, Something of Splendor’: Decorative Arts from the White House at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery through May 6, 2012 in DC.
The plateau was "mat gilt with garlands of fruit and vines with figure of Bacchus and Bacchantes and pedestals on which are 16 Figures presenting wreathes for receiving lights [candles] and 16 cups for changing at will, composed of 7 pieces altogether 13 [14] feet 6 inches long, over 2 feet wide, set with its mirrors."

The photo and info is from White House History and more details of the museum exhibit, plus a short podcast is HERE. To watch a small clip by the White House Curator speak on the plateau and other items on the exhibit go to CSPAN  

George Washington also had a plateau, part of which is displayed at Mount Vernon.  On Oct 13, 1789 he wrote to Gouverneur Morris ordering "...mirrors for a table, with neat and fashionable but not expensive ornaments for them; such as will do credit to your taste.  The mirrors will of course be in pieces that they may be adapted to the company, (the size of it I mean) the aggregate length of them may be ten feet, the breadth two feet.  The frames may be plated ware, or any thing else more fashionable but not more expensive.  If I am defective refur to what you have seen on Mr. Robert Morris's table for my ideas generally."  The quote is from the Library of Congress Washington's papers online at LC SITE

©2011 Patricia Bixler Reber
hearthcook.com

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