Extravagance Explained

ArtPoint hosted a Panel Discussion event, Extravagance and Industry, on May 22, 2012 at the Haas Lilienthal House. The event coincided with The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860-1900 exhibition that is currently on view at the Legion of Honor. Dr. Lynn Federle Orr, Curator in Charge of European Art at the FAMSF, organized the exhibition over the course of 10 years and collaborated with curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. The exhibition includes 180 artworks that showcase the celebration of beauty and challenges to the definition of beauty during the Victorian era. It features works of painting, fashion trends, architecture, interior decoration, handmade and manufactured furnishing for the home, and art photography.

A landmark in San Francisco, the Haas Lilienthal house provided the perfect backdrop for the panel discussion. The Queen Anne-style Victorian, completed in 1886, contextualized the dialogue among Moderator Alisa Carroll and Panelists N. Moses Corrette, Dr. Lynn Federle Orr, and Christopher VerPlanck by rendering the atmosphere of the era amidst its authentic interior design, furniture, and artifacts. Patrons were introduced to the rebellious Aesthetic Movement of the 19th century as they listened to the lively conversation of our panelists. The transformative work of artists, architects, writers, interior decorators, furniture makers, photographers, and writers all contributed to the changes in progressive social philosophies and antiestablishment tendencies. These luminaries, including James McNeill Whistler, Edward Burnes-Jones, William Morris, Albert Moore, Oscar Wilde, and Christopher Dresser, introduced a new approach to viewing beautiful objects within the context of everyday life. Beauty itself was re-invented within avant-garde perspectives, allowing the Victorian era to embrace the Aesthetic movement towards a new ideal of formal beauty.

Patrons enjoyed food, drink, and animated company. Check out our event photo gallery for an inside look.