CREATOR(S)Victor Horta TITLEChairDATEc.

1901 MEDIUMmahogany with modern upholstery MEASUREMENTS H: 37 5/8 x W: 18 7/8 x D: 21 7/8 inches (H: 96 x W: 48 x D: 56 cm) CREDITDecorative Arts Purchase Fund ACCESSION NUMBER 84.80.1 LOCATIONCurrently not on view

5 x 48. W.3 x 43. .38. while sharing many of the characteristics of that of his French contemporaries. D.) Seat H.Side Chair Victor Horta (Belgian. more masculine.) Woodwork-Furniture Purchase. 1861–1947) Date: Medium: ca.19. 1987 Classification: Credit Line: Description In 1902 the Belgian architect Victor Horta showed this dining room in the Belgian pavilion at the influential International Exhibition of Decorative Art in Turin. 1902 Mahogany Dimensions: H. His furniture.2 cm. Peter Palumbo Gift. 18-1/4 inches (46. Italy.17 inches (96.5 cm. tends to be less effusive.

where the unity of art and life was the declared aim of this new style whose sensuous and sinuous lines were more eloquent than words. Alscae-Lorraine in France. In Europe. He sold pieces from Germany and England in addition to French pieces. England. a group established in the mid 1890′s was centred on the work of glass artist and furniture designer Émile Gallé. Together with painter portraitist and sculptor Victor Prouvé. The style was characterized by fluid. was a shared enthusiasm among young artist-craftsmen during the latter part of the nineteenth century. curvaceous lines. Purists today still prefer to apply the term art nouveau only to the largely nature inspired curvilinear French pieces made at Paris and Nancy. they founded the Ecole de Nancy at Nancy. which had been established by German born Siegried Bing (1838-1905).Art nouveau The style we call Art Nouveau. Magnolia Vase by Émile Gallé . The name Art Nouveau was a reflection of the newness of their designs and was taken from an influential Parisian shop of the time. It is still considered the very best of all Art Nouveau interiors were produced at Paris. and adding a taste for all things oriental. flower and leaf motifs. America and Australia builders. Feeding on other European arts and crafts influenced groups. although the influence was widespread. designers. which were inspired by nature and included loose tendrils. artists and craftspeople all responded to the asymmetry and stylish sensuality of l’art nouveau. glass designer and maker Antonin Daum (1864–1931) as well as furniture maker and designer Eugène Vallin. metalawork and furniture designer Louis Majorelle.

The outlines and details of furniture depicted the sinuosity of plant growth patterns and the style was also well suited to the multi-layered beautiful antique Roman cameo-cut glass technique. which was made contemporary. ‘Grace and beauty are its outer clothing. In its depths shines the flame of the spirit. fresh and new by Émile Gallé. Emile Galle’s group. ceramics and also in wood. Gallé exceptionally blended poetry and philosophy with the physical material. His work was like a mysterious temple that no one entered without displaying the emotions of awe and bewilderment. rendering works in glass. .’ said art critic and historian Roger Marx.Plum Vase by Émile Gallé The natural world was a major stimulus to l’Ecole de Nancy.

relying purely on surface effects. particularly the plant world. Their stand was a popular and innovative draw card at the great 1900 Paris Exhibition showcasing the new style. Vases were created in monochrome or graded coloration. Glass was a medium that responded well to Art Nouveau’s sinuous and seductive lines. flowers. In England it provided inspiration for providing ‘new’ interiors for the also ‘newly designed. MackMurdo took his inspiration from nature. Mackmurdo (1851-1942) was the first in England to produce the characteristic vocabulary of Art Nouveau. social thinker poet and artist John Ruskin. eccentric creations of sophisticated elegance. Daum Vase . Forms were simple. stems and leaves. and misnamed Queen Anne House. A friend of art critic. devoid of ornament. architect and designer Arthur H. which were all chosen for their curvaceous silhouettes. unpretentious.The brothers Auguste and Antonin Daum had taken over their father’s workshop.

Lorraine. London around 1883. which is the emblem of Nancy. 1882-88) and it was made by Collinson & Lock.His sensational chair with a writhing wrought iron thistle design was a commission for the Century Guild (London. It was esigned by Englishman A. increasingly elegant patterns. MackMurdo . Chair with thistle design.H. The natural forms of arts and crafts designer William Morris and his pre-Raphealite artist friends also inspired Mackmurdo to develop his shapes into elongated.

Or. He had his own exotic studio on the top floor of his father’s mansion. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) led a band of artists at New York. lamps and at railway stations. and to be sure of there being acceptable to other aesthetically like minded people. . In America John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany used layers of opalescent glass to create sumptuous richly colored windows with designs of flowers. displayed goods in the style l’art nouveau including lamps by Tiffany. a lamp or mosaic in their home.Lamp with Dragonflies by Louis Comfort Tiffany At the turn of the century at London Arthur Liberty’s new department store. Stained glass had undergone a revolution in both technique and design during the 1890’s and it was being used not only in windows but also inset into doors. otherwise they would have had one donated to their local church. Liberty and Co. One of the strengths of Liberty of London lay in the fact that within one large shop it was possible to buy all the components necessary for a successfully artistic mode of life. which could not have been more different from the medieval style windows made in England only 30 to 40 years before. bank or college. exotic birds or shimmering skies. Anyone who was anybody in America by the turn of the twentieth century would have endeavoured to have a Tiffany window. Louis was the son and heir of the founder of the famous American jewellery store. furniture.

critic and essayist Marcel Proust Composers such as Claude Debussy. The result was that an entire host of artistic media became caught up in an a glorious arabesque of literature. 'young style' . Tension between the senses and sexes were stimulated by plant and animal symbols and sensuality was accepted in all the famous salons. fine and applied art that were part of art nouveau’s expression. the capital of Latvia in the old city many of its buildings display a combination of straight geometry and carefully controlled organic curves. poetry music. Artist Vincent Van Gough. as everywhere artists inspired by the group at Nancy sought variety by embracing both shared ideas and ideals.Europe was inspired by the sensuality of the style Art Nouveau as artists and architects all sought freedom of expression producing more than tendrils in time. At Riga . At Riga. Jean Sibelius and Richard Strauss were all part of a dizzy climate of sensual.Jugenstidl. imprisoned and surrendering. dramatic and poetic masterpieces. novelist. Back to nature was a pretext for grasping and handling the concept of the body. particularly the female form with manes of hair swirling and swimming in complex waves and curls of smoke.

French decorator and designer Louis Majorelle 1859-1926. . gave sensual and sinuous form to his furniture. Of impeccable craftsmanship the style at its best was exuberant and joyful. Within the art community at Vienna at the turn of the 20th century the hoped for marriage of art and industry had not happened and small communal workshops were thought the best way to remedy the situation. which was richly ornamented.Brooch with Female with tendrils and flowing hair Orchid Desk by Louis Majorelle Progressive furniture in the Art Nouveau style was produced from 1880 to 1910. His renowned orchid desk of 1905 is a testimony to his mastery of the style as is his dining room suite of c1902. consuming all his original sketches. now in a corporate Museum in America. moulds. equipment and archives. After 1901 he became a Vice President of theEcole de Nancy and worked to expand his father’s business that was tragically destroyed by fire in 1916. a cabinetmaker by trade.

the 19. painters. sport and astonishingly food. its low production costs and its competitive price. The secret of its enduring success lies in its social as well as technical serviceability. concerned only as they were with finding the form. sculptors and architects who seceded from the prestigious Kunsterhaus (Artists House) and set up the Society of Austrian Artists – the Vienna Secession They staged their first exhibition in March 1898. selling over 100 million. started have today become seventy and they plunged into leading Vienna into the age of Modernism. Gustav Klimt. It was an act of youthful idealism in the spirit of sacrifice and with a willingness to work hard. such as The Studio. While the history of bentwood furniture dates back two centuries.Gustav Klimt. Thonet chairs have since become indelibly identified as classics of modern design and his remarkable bentwood furniture continues to turn heads more than a century later. The Kiss 1907-1908 Art Nouveau artist. to art its Freedom’ was its credo. was debated endlessly. were devoured in the capital’s cafes. Michael Thonet designed the Viennese coffeehouse chair. They enjoyed considerable success in their early years. Their aims were purely aesthetic. English fashion. The secession was founded in coffeehouse culture and decorative arts magazines. the ‘material’ being already at hand. which is still manufactured today. led a group of primarily young Viennese artists. ‘To each century its art. His original designs were delicate and lightweight and he established a patent in 1842 for his process. The pliant and pleasing styles practiced by artists were a veritable box office hit…with . whose brilliant individualism dominated the era. The attractiveness of the handicraft items issuing from Vienna was demonstrated at the World Exposition in Paris of 1900. it was Michael who propelled the notion of bending woods and subsequently tubular metal into the twentieth century.

He began as a ceramicist producing everyday utensils in powerful art nouveau forms. particularly through Celtic art. . exhibiting his work to great acclaim using semiprecious stones and enamel to embellish them. Staircase by Victor Horta In Belgium Victor Horta became a leading exponent of the style making use of painting as a supplement to the building materials in order to extend the sense of movement in his iron components. His style was much more puritanical and simple and in turn did much to heavily influence industrial design. Much more was made of iron as a building material when combined with glass and superb examples married colour and geometry. Bold use was made of contrast.handicraft liberated from its confines and allowed to form a synthesis with interior design and the liberal arts. bringing with it a sense of liberated living for those who embraced the style ‘l’art nouveau. embracing the whole spectrum of color from violet to turquoise. dissolving into checkerboard patterns and ‘little squares’ George Jensen (1866-1935) became Scandinavia’s most famous silversmith. In Scotland Charles Rennie Mackintosh was greatly influenced.

a casualty of the first World War 1914-18 . Gaudi. ceramics. As a style Art Nouveau expired. objets d’art. who would prove to be an influential link between the Arts and Craft.At this level however. Gaudi loved Christian symbols. textiles. leather. historical periods but are perhaps a lesson in painterly and sculptural architectural composition combining honesty with spirituality. At Nancy in north-eastern France today theEcole de Nancy Museum offers a testimony of the diversity of creative techniques practiced by the artists of this school. In Barcelona the Catalan architect come artist Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) was also inspired by natures organic forms. flowing sinuous lines ‘Art is beauty and beauty the radiance of truth‘ Gaudi said. Art Nouveau movements and industrial design. from the period. with a fine display of furniture. stained-glass. Latin for “No one touches me with impunity” a reference to the thistle a symbol of Lorraine. He asserted that virtually everything could be produced from brick and stone. classical and oriental mythology and his imagination transferred and translated into structures that cannot be forced into stylistic pigeonholes or. His controversial works still challenge the mind both structurally and aesthetically. glassware. ‘without which there is no art‘. The motto of the city is Non inultus premor. new or otherwise. etc. it would be a Belgian Henry Van de Velde.