This exhibition brings together seven decorative arts masterpieces made in France and Italy in the early 1700s, demonstrating the increased attention paid by the architects, artists, and craftsmen of the period to everyday activities. By applying innovative design to the utilitarian function of commonplace objects from chairs to chamber pots, the creators of these works sought to elevate the trivial aspects of daily life for their upper class patrons.

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The elegant and extravagant modes of expression that resulted from these efforts gave rise to a style known as the rococo, which frequently captured an illusion of softness through curving, undulating lines. Rich with sensuous detail and virtuoso craftsmanship, these works not only reward close and prolonged looking, but also mark the serious regard paid to the engineering, production, and consumption of household items—a preoccupation that we continue to bring to the design, quality, and use of our own everyday objects.

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