Exhibitions: Decorative Arts: Period Rooms

Parlor, Colonel Robert J. Milligan House

The Milligan House was built in Saratoga Springs, New York, by Colonel Robert J. Milligan. The lavish drawing room in the Rococo Revival style (inspired by eighteenth-century French design) was the front parlor of the house. The library, originally the back parlor, was modified and furnished in the Gothic Revival style for its installation in the Museum in order to demonstrate the interest in a broad range of historical styles in the nineteenth century. Certain styles became associated with particular room usage: Rococo for parlors and Gothic for libraries. In the drawing room, the characteristic flamboyant scroll and floral motifs of the Rococo Revival style are found in the carpet pattern, the chair carving, the mantel, and the over-mantel looking glass. The more sober forms of Gothic design were considered preferable for the mood of a library. The two rooms together illustrate the kind of interiors that resulted from the explosion of goods available to the rising middle class in the nineteenth century.