Extravagant Inventions


Orientation gallery with title wall attract video.

On what did the rulers of late eighteenth-century Europe spend their money? On wars, palaces, and the arts—but also extravagant mechanical furniture. Both the King of Prussia and the Empress of Russia entertained themselves and their guests with ingeniously concealed and automated drawers as well as hidden compartments built within some of the most elegant desks and tables ever devised.


Hybrid object label and interactive touch screens were placed throughout the exhibition to showcase the hidden features and mechanical marvels of Abraham and David Roentgen furniture. The screens featured Met-produced videos – as well as licensed and edited media. All together, this is the most extensive set of videos on Roentgen furniture.

The Met has gone all out with small video animations that demonstrate the hidden chambers of seven pieces in the show.
– Roberta Smith, New York Times


Following the exhibition opening, the videos were featured in the New York Times, Gizmodo, and Make: Blog. To date, the films have been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

Produced for The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens in 2012.

Custom interactive video kiosk app running on iPads throughout the exhibition; also available online.

Directors: Paco Link and Chris Noey
Producer: Rachel Rothbaum
Editor: Sarah Cowan
Production coordinator: Staci Hou
iOS developer: Mark Baltzegar