The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Wrightsman Galleries
As part of the renovation to the The Wrightsman Galleries, the lighting dramatically transformed the rooms from lifeless museum displays into atmospheric environments. The galleries house the museum’s renowned collection of French furniture and decorative arts.
The project included eight rooms: the Varengeville Room, the De Tessé Room, Louis XIV’s Bedroom, the Paar Room, the Cabris Room, the Crillon Room, the Bordeaux Room and the Louis XVI Gallery. Each room’s character is slightly different.
Visual hierarchy/balance, shadow, color temperature, sparkle, time of day and place are conceptually woven into the lighting. Within that context the spectacular objects on display must be revealed in all their glory within strict conservation limits. Period historic chandeliers, torchères and sconces were sensitively rewired, internal lighting was refurbished and candlesticks were equipped with electric “flames” that subtly move. As no natural light penetrates any of the rooms all lighting, including simulated daylight, is achieved with electric light sources.
State-of-the-art technology for the accent lighting of the objects utilized a number of subtle techniques including recessed low voltage lighting in the ceilings, tiny adjustable fixtures hidden in the chandeliers and fiber optic sub miniature spotlights hidden in the people barriers at room entrances. Fluorescent sources were used in most cases to simulate daylight through windows.