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Anthony Marchetti traced five of our American period rooms back to their origin. Here’s what he found and what he made in response.

Mia’s period rooms may seem like time capsules, settings preserved in a museum as though their owners have simply stepped away. But in reality they are illusions, a mix of old and new, fact and fiction.

As part of our Living Rooms project, Mia commissioned Anthony Marchetti, a Minneapolis-based photographer, to visit the original sites of five of the museum’s American period rooms and make something new of what he found. Sometimes he discovered a house looking much the same as it was when the features of a room were pried off and shipped across the country. Sometimes he found water (see: The Connecticut Room and Anthony’s melding of the room with its contemporary setting, pictured above). Sometimes he got in trouble.

My colleague Diane Richard and I talked with Anthony about his expedition and the digital photography illustrations that followed, now on display in the Decorative Arts court near many of the rooms. You can listen to the stories on your phone when viewing the works in person, or you can listen and look online.