FrontRunners: Together Again

  • Sheila J. Gibson

The 18th century was good to Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville d’Avray—for a while, anyway. His royal French connections (his first child was christened in the chapel at Versailles with godmother Queen Marie-Antoinette looking on) garnered him the post of General Administrator of the Crown Furniture, enabling him to furnish his apartment with pieces made by craftspeople who served the royal residences. In Thierry’s bedroom was a 10-piece suite of gilded furniture, upholstered with the same three-color silk fabric woven for use in Louis XVI’s Gaming Room at Fontainebleu. Then the revolution came in 1789, and Thierry lost his apartment, his fur-niture, and ultimately his life. Beginning in October, his fully restored bedroom furniture will be on display at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (617.267.9300, www.mfa.org).

The furniture will be shown as a complete set for the first time, after a comprehensive and complicated four-year restoration effort that involved delicate regilding work at Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum and painstaking reweaving of the silk upholstery at specialty firms in France.

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