INTERIORS

Pomp and Circumstance

Jacques Garcia’s redesign at the Louvre.


What does a museum with what is arguably the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of 18th-century decorative arts do when it needs a bit of freshening up? Hire a decorator, of course. On June 6, after a $36 million renovation, the 35 galleries at the Louvre that house such treasures as Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s painted decorations and André-Charles Boulle’s furniture will reopen in the museum’s Cour Carrée, with a new installation conceived by the French interior designer Jacques Garcia. On display are period rooms and masterpieces from the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, like the inlaid rolltop desk that Jean-Henri Riesener designed for Marie Antoinette in 1784, and the sumptuously painted porcelain potpourri vase that Charles-Nicolas Dodin of Sèvres made for Madame de Pompadour in 1760. “Jacques brings a connoisseur’s eye to the project,” says Sue Devine, the executive director of the American Friends of the Louvre. “He’s a great collector himself.” Prepare to go rococo.