Few pieces of furniture have revealed more about leisure pursuits, popular taste, and changing social customs than the dressing table, or vanity, This is the statement that curator Jane Adlin announces in the wall panel of her new show "Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table," opened this week at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The age-old impulse to be attractive or fashionable informs and animates much of the dressing table’s lengthy design history, as it does many of the objects associated with the toilette, the ritual in which the dressing table reached new heights of elegance and sophistication. The exhibition provides an overview of the origins and development of the dressing table from antiquity to the present day with some 50 related objects, paintings, and drawings selected mainly from the Metropolitan’s collection. I found the table and stool by Korean designer Byung-Hoon Choi, made in marble and stainless steel particularly compelling.
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