Friday, November 4, 2011

Art of Dining at the Detroit Institute of Arts

I love to bring the world a "Moment of Delight."  You never quite know what topic I will blog about - food, art, travel, crafts.  Hopefully by now you can count on me to show you something that is beautiful and interesting.

Today I am putting the spotlight on an interactive exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts called "The Art of Dining."  It has been over a year since I visited, but I am sure that it is a permanent part of the collection and I look forward to seeing it again when I visit the museum this Winter.

In the gallery of eighteenth-century decorative arts, there is a table and four chairs.  Museum visitors are encourage to take a seat and "participate" in a formal dinner that is projected on the table (that serves as a video projection screen).  Some of the French porcelain serving pieces and silver on display in the cases in the galley, were used to make this formal dinner footage.  Isn't that neat? 

The video is on a loop and begins with empty plates and clean silverware.  As the meal progresses, you see the "arm" of the dinner guest (dressed in period costume) reaching for food and interacting with the table. 
Words appear on the screen periodically to define the type of food served at this formal dinner - you can see (above) "Steamed Stuffed Artichokes in Red Pepper Sauce."  All the while, observers at the table hear the clinking of silver on dishes and the light banter of dinner conversation in French.  I absolutely loved it.
Can you see that now the stuffed artichoke is on the plate?  He was reaching for it in the photo above.

At the end, I slid over to another chair.  I wanted you to see what it looked like to be a woman with a puffy sleeve reaching for miniature cakes.  So pretty!

I found this article online from when "The Art of Dining" interactive installation opened and amazingly, you can click a short video on the link and see this table in action.  I do encourage you to see it.  What you can see clearly in the video is that the silver showpiece in the center, is on display behind glass right next to the table.

French Porcelain is art indeed.

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