Location: Visitor Center Theater
Part of: Lectures and Talks
Marjorie Merriweather Post’s youngest daughter, Dina Merrill remembers exploring the wondrous world of the secret compartments hidden within a fascinating roll-top desk in her mother’s bedroom. The Roentgens were known for innovative designs, which—combined with intriguing mechanical devices—revolutionized European furniture making traditions. When Marjorie Post bought this desk in the 1920s, it was thought to have been made for Marie Antoinette, based in part on the prominently featured M.A. monogram on the roll-top.
Wolfram Koeppe, curator of the landmark exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012, shares new insights on the wondrous Roentgen furniture, on the Hillwood rolltop desk, and his research to unravel the story of its original owner. Dr. Koeppe will also talk about the innovative research techniques—including x-ray photography—that revealed new information about these unrivaled masterpieces.
This is the third Frederick J. Fisher lecture, honoring the legacy of Hillwood’s executive director of 20 years (1990-2010).
6-6:45 pm Member reception with the speaker. Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post's Dazzling Gems and The Mansion open for touring.
7-8 pm Lecture (seating opens at 6:45 pm)
8 pm Book Signing of Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens
About the Speaker
Wolfram Koeppe is the Marina Kellen French Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. His exhibitions and publications include Princely Splendor, The Dresden Court 1580-1620 (with co-curator Ian Wardropper, 2004), European Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (with Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide and William Rieder in 2006), and Fascino del Bello, Collezione Terruzzi (2007). He was the driving force behind the award-wining exhibition Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe (voted by Apollo Magazine The Exhibition of The Year 2008; co-curator with Anna-Maria Giusti and editor of the catalogue); the long-term display Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection, Vienna Circa 1780: An Imperial Silver Service Rediscovered (2010). A leading specialist in The Decorative Arts, he co-curated the Roentgen furniture exhibition Edle Möbel für höchste Kreise (2007) and organized the award-winning landmark exhibition on the subject; Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture by the Roentgens, for which he shared the AAMC Annual Publication Prize Award honoring the outstanding monographic exhibition catalogue of 2012 with Leah Dickerman. A short video prepared for this exhibition demonstrating the mechanics of the famous Berlin Cabinet went “viral” on the internet and has an unprecedented amount of nearly five million clicks. He is known for his wide-ranging interest in the decorative arts and sculpture, reflected by the acquisition of major works, of which many are included as essential masterpieces in the new Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide (2012). His latest publication was recently released: a major section with furniture and goldsmith work entries in the catalogue project of The Robert Lehman Collection, vol.XV, on Decorative Arts.