Photograph by Henrik Kam, © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Salon Doré from the Hôtel de La Trémoille at the Legion of Honor is one of the finest examples of French Neoclassical interior architecture in the United States. Richly carved and ornately gilded, it was designed during the reign of Louis XVI as the main salon de compagnie—a receiving room for guests—of the Hôtel de La Trémoille on the rue Saint-Dominique in Paris.
As a result of being moved no fewer than seven times between 1877 and today, its appearance and presentation had been greatly changed from its original aspect. For a period of 18 months from 2012 to 2014, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco closed the Salon Doré to allow for the comprehensive conservation and renovation of this important 18th-century period room.
Over the course of this project, curators, conservators, and architects reinstated the room's original floor plan, restored the gilding and paint, repaired and replaced key carved elements, and installed an 18th-century parquet floor, a coved ceiling, windows, and new lighting.
In its new installation, a new suite of period furnishings brings renewed focus to the room's character and original purpose by demonstrating its social function as a salon de compagnie, a formal room for receiving guests and conversation. The renovated Salon Doré at the Legion of Honor is a truly groundbreaking museum display that sets a new standard for American period rooms.
See the full video series from the symposium "The Sale Doré: French 18th-Century Interiors and the American Museum" here.
All photos © FAMSF
Donors to the Renovation of the Salon Doré
Major Patrons: Cynthia Fry Gunn and John A. Gunn in memory of John E. Buchanan, Jr. Corporate Sponsor: Breguet. Patrons: Jamie and Philip Bowles, the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Staffan Encrantz, The European Decorative Arts Council, The Fifth Age of Man Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Goss II, F. Scott Gross and Terry Gross, Mr. and Mrs. William Hamilton, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Françoise and Andrew Skurman, Mr. Benjamin Steinitz in memory of Bernard B. Steinitz, The Michael Taylor Trust, and Diane B. Wilsey. Patron Gifts in Memory of John E. Buchanan, Jr.: Mr. and Mrs. Adolphus Andrews Jr., The Kimball Foundation, Jeannik Méquet Littlefield, Denise Littlefield Sobel, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Osher, Constance Crowley Peabody, and Lonna Wais.