Un Petit SymposiumOn Saturday, November 7, my wonderful husband, Cole Smith (FAIA, ASID and principal architect of Smith, Ekblad and Associates) and I were thrilled to host “Un Petit Symposium: Les Fêtes de Versailles, French Splendor in the 18th Century” at the Dallas Museum of Art.
The private event, held in the museum’s Horchow Theatre, was a revisit to the lecture series originated in 1989 under the auspices of The Dallas Symposium for Decorative Arts and Architecture. Featured at this year’s symposium were two esteemed speakers and dear friends of ours: Anne-Marie Quette and Dr. Maria Ann Conelli. Anne-Marie has held several teaching positions, including: Parsons School of Design Summer Program in Paris, the Smithsonian Institute-Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. She is a published author and lectures in Europe and the United States. Maria is currently Executive Director of the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Previously, she was Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and founded and chaired the Masters Program in the History of Decorative Arts at Parsons School of Design. Both ladies spoke at the inaugural Dallas Symposium for Decorative Arts and Architecture.
Anne-Marie opened this year’s event with a lecture on the elements used to set the royal tables of Europe; including gold, silver and rare porcelains from Cellini’s gold salt cellar for Francis I to Sevres porcelain services used at the Palace of Versailles. Maria’s lecture introduced a short background on Italian gardens and the adaptation of these ideas at Vaux-le-Vicomte before segueing into the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, reflecting the court of Louis XIV.
We followed the lectures with a delicious champagne reception in the museum’s Seventeen Seventeen restaurant with music provided by Jim Richman and musicians from the Dallas Bach Society.