"Let Them Eat Cake and Eat it Too"

From the outside, the installation resembles a fancy birthday cake with its circular form, hand-painted vignettes of contemporary figures in Rococo poses, and swags of fabric. The visitor ascends a ramp with stuffed birds suspended overhead and enters a white room with one wall displaying a 4' x 5' framed photo of a French salon. Fragonard's Winter is digitally inserted into the photo. A video camera captures the approaching visitor, who is then projected into the salon image, allowing them to virtually inhabit a room from a different time and culture. The effect of inhabiting the image is highlighted by Rococo music and props that include fans and furniture that disappear when projected onto the photo, placing the seated viewer directly onto the Rococo furniture. The original painting remains in its location within the permanent collection galleries.

LACMA object:

Jean-Honore Fragonard
Winter, c. 1755
Oil on canvas
William Randolph Hearst Collection
Photo ©2001 Museum Associates/LACMA
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