While the Salon is a 16th century Italian import, these gatherings flourished during 17th and 18th century France — an era known as the “Age of Enlightenment.” Hosted by the Salonnière, participants would congregate under the roof of the inspirational hostess to engage in lively conversations and debates – partly for entertainment, partly to cultivate their tastes and proliferate learning. Participants would discuss Philosophy, Science, Literature, The Arts, Languages, and Current Affairs.
At a time when women were expected to cultivate their needlepoint and knitting skills, Salons served as an informal university for women who wanted more. Although hosted by women, the speakers asked to address various topics were men — as these were considered the “learned” people of the day. Soon, men and women of the bourgeoisie began attending Salons as a way to seek the same educational opportunities previous afforded only to the wealthy and noble classes. These Salons offered patrons a venue to exchange ideas, read or show one’s own works, and receive/offer criticism.
The inspiration for Blue Stockings Salon comes from 18th century French Salons made famous by Elizabeth Montagu, a literary woman of the day. She created the Blue Stockings Society as a setting for clever conversation and informal sociability. Her Salons were attended by such renowned figures throughout history as Edmund Burke, Elizabeth Carter, Samuel Johnson, Catherine Talbot, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and others. The term ‘Blue Stocking’ refers to an educated, learned person.
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“Just as the deepest contemplation of new ideas occurs in a relaxed environment, fully engaged living and friendships are best cultivated in the same way. Blue Stockings Salon provides the perfect opportunity for conviviality and enlightenment in one venue. We truly get great value from our membership.” Peter Draeger, CFO Draegers Markets – Member