In the late 1890s, society functions often included a tableau vivant, an elaborate staging by live models wearing elaborate costumes posed to represent a living picture. For example participants might recreate the paintings The Last Supper or Washington Crossing the Delaware. While the models remained motionless and silent, guests at the event could closely examine them. The more elaborate tableaus included props and theatrical lights.
Using this device, Alyssa Maxwell launches her latest Gilded Newport Mystery, Murder at Ochre Court.