Court ensemble detail, c. 1804-09, FIDM Museum Proposed Acquisition, L2017.9.1

Operation 1804

The FIDM Museum is fundraising to acquire a rare Napoleonic court ensemble worn by a high-ranking member of the French imperial circle – possibly even Empress Joséphine herself.

Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was crowned Emperor of France on December 2, 1804. Beside him at the coronation was his wife Marie-Joseph-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie de Beauharnais (1763-1814), whom he called “Joséphine.” Emperor Napoléon and Empress Joséphine ushered in a remarkable new era of artistic expression. A strict dress code was mandated at royal court functions and the Empress was the ultimate arbiter of style. For formal occasions, ladies wore fashionable high-waist gowns and trains made from yards of French-produced silk satin, lace, velvet, and net with precious metal embroidery motifs that symbolized the rulers, like the tulips seen on this ensemble.

Operation 1804 supports the acquisition and future conservation of this object. By donating denominations between $18.04 and $1,804.00 – or even $18,040.00! – you will help the FIDM Museum preserve this majestic piece of history.

For more information on Special Projects, contact the Curator’s Office: 213-623-5821, or info@FIDMmuseum.org