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Article

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...

Article

Jorge F. Rivas Pérez

(Gerónimo)

(b Caracas, Aug 29, 1920; d Caracas, Nov 3, 2004).

Venezuelan designer, potter, educator, curator, and museum administrator. Arroyo was one of the first professional designers in Venezuela. He graduated in drawing and painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas de Caracas in 1938. From 1938 to 1940 Arroyo lived in New York City, where he worked at the Venezuelan pavilion at the New York World’s Fair (1939–1940) and assisted Luis Alfredo López Méndez with painting La Vida Venezolana on the ceiling of the canopy of the pavilion. Back in Venezuela, from 1940 to 1946, Arroyo taught art at the Liceo de Aplicación in Caracas. During this period, he taught and also worked as an interior designer (Librería Magisterio (1944) and Gran Exposición Nacional de Industria y Comercio de Maracaibo (1945)). From 1946 to 1948 he studied design and pottery at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA.

In 1949...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

James D. Kornwolf

(b Ramsgate, Oct 23, 1865; d Brighton, Feb 10, 1945).

English architect, interior designer, garden designer and writer . He was articled to Charles Davis (1827–1902), City Architect of Bath, from 1886 until 1889 but learnt little and was largely self-taught. In 1889 he started his own practice on the Isle of Man, where he built a number of buildings, including his own Red House, Douglas (1893). He was a leading member of the second-generation Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and was among the first to build on the simpler, more abstract and stylized designs of C. F. A. Voysey, a refinement of the ideas of William Morris, Philip Webb, R. Norman Shaw and others from the period 1860–90. From about 1890 until World War I, the Arts and Crafts Movement, as represented by Baillie Scott, Voysey, C. R. Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Parker & Unwin and others, became the most important international force in architecture, interior design, landscape and urban planning. The work of these architects influenced Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann in Austria, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens in Germany, Eliel Saarinen and others in Scandinavia, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene in the USA....

Article

Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

Monique D. J. M. Teunissen

(b Amsterdam, July 12, 1893; d Amsterdam, May 11, 1949).

Dutch interior designer, furniture designer and writer. He was the son of a furniture dealer and was involved with the profession from an early age. He took lessons with the architect J. L. van Ishoven (1870–1931) and gained work experience in Germany. After operating independently for a few years he became the leading designer of the Amsterdam firm Metz & Co. His work displayed a rational concept of form and became well known through exhibitions and publications. At the firm of Hendrik Pander & Zonen in The Hague, where he was employed from 1924 to 1933, he specialized in using different types of wood that gave his taut, functional, batch-produced furniture a distinctive decorative character. On account of their plastic shapes his designs were considered to be related to those of the Amsterdam school architects. For Bromberg functionalism in interiors was a vital starting-point. He created various model rooms and homes in order to illustrate new ideas about the arrangement of domestic interiors. He also taught and wrote manuals, children’s books and many articles in periodicals and trade journals promoting contemporary applied art. He was particularly active within the Dutch Association of Trade and Industrial Art and the ...

Article

Brian Austen

(fl 1804–45).

English architect, designer and drawing-master. He appears to have had strong connections during his early life with South Devon: his earliest known design, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1804, was of a Villa with a Distant View of the Catwater, Plymouth, and other designs (1807–12) also relate to this county. However, Brown may have been living in London during this period as he ran an architectural academy at 4 Wells Street. There the importance of perspective drawing was taught, and in 1815 he published the Principles of Practical Perspective. He also became increasingly interested in furniture design, and in the need for designers in this discipline to master the art of perspective. Drawing is one of the main themes in his work the Rudiments of Drawing Cabinet Furniture (1820), which consists of 24 coloured plates, each accompanied by commentary. The designs are in the Classical style and acknowledge the work of Thomas Hope (ii), George Smith and Charles Percier. Brown also praised the quality of George Bullock’s cabinetmaking, and the plates appear to have been derived from Bullock’s designs. One plate depicts a sofa made in ...

Article

(b Lyon, 1798; d Paris, June 16, 1838).

French painter, designer and interior decorator. Throughout his career he was an advocate of the importance of art and design for industry and manufacture. In 1830 he was appointed adviser to the Sèvres Porcelain Factory by the director Alexandre Brongniart (1770–1847). There Chenavard made cartoons for stained-glass windows, a stoneware ‘Vase de la Renaissance’ shown at the 1833 Sèvres exhibition and designs for the Duc d’Orléans (future King Louis-Philippe), such as a silver-gilt ewer made by M. Durant and shown at the 1834 Paris Exposition Universelle. Chenavard exhibited designs at the Paris Salons of 1827, 1831, 1833 and 1834, among them his Gothic-style designs, in collaboration with Achille Mascret, for the decoration of the chapel at the château of Eu, and his sketches for the restoration of the Théâtre Français and Opéra Comique in Paris. Material by Chenavard is preserved in the Musée National de Céramique at Sèvres and the ...

Article

Merrill Halkerston

(b Portland, ME, March 4, 1832; d New York, March 26, 1920).

American painter, interior designer and writer. Colman grew up in New York, where his father, Samuel Colman, ran a successful publishing business. The family bookstore on Broadway, a popular meeting place for artists, offered Colman early introductions to such Hudson River school painters as Asher B(rown) Durand, with whom he is said to have studied briefly around 1850. Having won early recognition for his paintings of popular Hudson River school locations (see Storm King on the Hudson), he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1854. Most of Colman’s landscapes of the 1850s, for example Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll., Frances Lehman Loeb A. Cent.), reveal the influence of the Hudson River school. An avid traveller, he embarked on his first European tour in 1860, visiting France, Italy, Switzerland and the more exotic locales of southern Spain and Morocco. His reputation was secured in the 1860s by his numerous paintings of romantic Spanish sites, notably the large ...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

(b 1838; d ?London, 1913).

English architect and designer. He studied under the architect James Kellaway Colling (c. 1815–1905), an expert on Gothic architecture, and spent several years as assistant to Matthew Digby Wyatt, who at the time was working on the then India Office (1867–8), Whitehall, London. Davis was a designer of architectural ornament, furniture, wallpaper, textiles, ironwork and ceramics, and in 1870 some of his designs were published in Building News. For James Shoolbred & Co., London (fl 1870–1900s), he designed furniture in the medieval, Jacobean, Stuart, Louis XVI and Japanese styles and in the style of Robert Adam and James Adam, illustrated in the company’s catalogue Designs of Furniture … and Interior Decoration (1876). A selection of furniture designed by Davis and manufactured by Shoolbred was shown at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. In 1885 he published Art and Work, which contains 85 lithographic plates of ornament for marble, stone and terracotta and designs for furniture, ceramics, metalwork and textiles, accompanied by notes on the design sources; among the plates are several after drawings, previously unpublished, by the ...

Article

Joellen Secondo

(b Peckham Rye, London, Jan 29, 1845; d London, April 18, 1910).

English designer and writer. He was educated in France and Germany, but his interest in design was provided by visits to the South Kensington Museum, London (now the Victoria & Albert Museum). In 1865 he entered the office of Lavers & Barraud, glass painters and designers. Some time later he became keeper of cartoons at Clayton & Bell and by 1870 had joined Heaton, Butler & Bayne, for whom he worked on the decoration of Eaton Hall, Ches. In late 1880 Day started his own business designing textiles, wallpapers, stained glass, embroidery, carpets, tiles, pottery, furniture, silver, jewellery and book covers. He designed tiles for Maw & Co. and Pilkington’s Tile and Pottery Co., stained glass and wallpaper for W. B. Simpson & Co., wallpapers for Jeffrey & Co. and textiles for Turnbull & Stockdale where he was made Art Director in 1881.

Day was a founder-member and Secretary of the ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(b Glasgow, July 4, 1834; d Mulhouse, Alsace, Nov 24, 1904).

Scottish designer, Botanist and writer. He trained at the Government School of Design, Somerset House, London, between 1847 and 1854, during which time he was strongly influenced by the design reform efforts of Henry Cole, Richard Redgrave and Owen Jones. In 1854 he began to lecture at the school on botany and in 1856 supplied a plate illustrating the ‘geometrical arrangement of flowers’ for Jones’s Grammar of Ornament. In 1857 he presented a series of lectures at the Royal Institution entitled ‘On the Relationship of Science to Ornamental Art’, which he followed up in a series of 11 articles in the Art Journal (1857–8) on the similar subject of ‘Botany as Adapted to the Arts and Art-Manufacture’. His first three books were on botanical subjects, and in 1860 he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Jena for his research in this area.

Following the International Exhibition of ...

Article

Shearer West

(b London, March 7, 1738; d London, Dec 10, 1806).

English painter and writer. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to an upholsterer and drew designs for furniture. He became a student at the Duke of Richmond’s gallery in 1759 and opened a drawing school in Soho. In 1761 he became a student at the St Martin’s Lane Academy. He was one of the first students to enrol in the Royal Academy Schools in 1769. He travelled to Italy in c. 1774–6 at the expense of Robert Udney. He exhibited frequently at the Society of Artists, the Free Society and the Royal Academy between 1771 and 1806. His works included biblical and literary subjects such as a scene from the Two Gentlemen of Verona (1799; sold London, at Boydell sale, Christie’s, 17–20 May 1805) painted for John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, portraits, and landscapes such as Durham Cathedral (1788; London, V&A).

Edwards was made ARA in ...

Article

Jørgen Sestoft

(Otto)

(b Copenhagen, Feb 14, 1893; d Copenhagen, June 21, 1965).

Danish architect, designer and writer. As early as 1915 he collaborated with Aage Rafn in the competition for the railway stations on the island of Bornholm. The project was a brilliant artistic paraphrase of local architectural tradition, liberated from academic convention as well as provincial sentimentality. From 1909 to 1920 he studied at the Arkitektskole of the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. He worked in Sweden in 1916–17 as a colleague of Sigurd Lewerentz and Gunnar Asplund. From the early 1920s he undertook a large-scale architectural practice in which substantial projects such as state-supported housing developments played an essential part. His large housing blocks, for example Hornbækhus (1923), Copenhagen, were well-proportioned, traditionally constructed multiple-bayed buildings with a minumum of classical elements of style. For the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (1925), Fisker designed the Danish pavilion in a cubism of severe brickwork. The trend towards the refined prismatic block in smooth brickwork was further elaborated in the unrealized project for the Danish Students’ House (...

Article

Wilfried Posch

(b Baden, nr Vienna, July 15, 1885; d Stockholm, Jan 8, 1967).

Austrian architect, interior designer, teacher and writer. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna, and then worked for a year with Bruno Möhring in Berlin. After a study visit to Italy he established himself as an independent architect in Vienna in 1910, building in the period before World War I a number of single-family houses distinguished by highly simplified forms and balanced proportions; examples include the Villa Hoch (1912) and Villa Wassermann (1914), both in Vienna. After the war he taught at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna (1919–25), and collaborated with Adolf Loos and others in the Viennese garden city movement, which was based on English models. He took a leading role in the construction of cooperatively run garden suburbs and also contributed five residential buildings, several storeys high, to Vienna’s communal housing scheme, for example Winarskyhof (1924). Frank played a significant role in the propagation of artistic innovation in the early 20th century. As a member of both the ...

Article

(b Bristol, May 26, 1833; d London, Oct 6, 1886).

English architect, designer and writer. He had an early interest in archaeology, which was fostered by fragments of medieval carving in his parents’ garden. From the age of 15 he began sketching buildings all over the West Country. In 1851 he contributed illustrations to The Antiquities of Bristol and Neighbourhood, by which time he was apprenticed to William Armstrong of Bristol. Armstrong, perhaps recognizing Godwin’s aptitude, entrusted him with much of his architectural work. This brought Godwin early responsibility but little formal training, a lack that he felt dogged his professional life. In 1854 he established an independent practice, and in an attempt to further his career, in 1856 he joined his brother, an engineer, in Londonderry, Ireland. During his visit he studied castles and abbeys throughout Ireland. He also designed three small Roman Catholic churches in a severe Gothic style at St Johnstown (1857–61), Newtown Cunningham (...

Article

Kai Budde

(b Cologne; fl Strasbourg, 1590s).

German cabinetmaker, writer and engraver. He is recorded as a cabinetmaker and citizen of Strasbourg from 1596. He appears to have been a pupil of the architect Johann Schoch, who designed Schloss Gottesau, near Karlsruhe (c. 1587), and the Friedrichsbau of the Heidelberg Schloss (c. 1601–7). Guckeisen, in collaboration with Veit Eck (fl Strasbourg, 1587), wrote a Kunstbüchlein (Strasbourg, 1596) dedicated to masons and cabinetmakers. He also wrote a similar work, Etlicher Architectischer Portalen, Epitapien, Caminen Und Schweyffen, published in the same year in Cologne. They were followed in 1599 by a series of engraved designs for six chests, also published in Cologne. In collaboration with the cabinetmaker and etcher Hans Jakob Ebelmann, Guckeisen also produced the Schränke (1598), Seilenbuch (1598), Architectura Kunstbuch Darinnen Alerhand Portalen Reisbetten Undt Epitaphien (1599) and Schweyfbuch (1599), the last dedicated to the cabinetmaker Jacob Riedel in Strasbourg. As a designer of ornament, Guckeisen was familiar with the whole repertory of Renaissance decoration, using it in varied combinations....

Article

Sarah Medlam

(fl 1839; d Paris, c. 1889).

French publisher and furniture designer. He was an important disseminator of historical and contemporary designs in 19th-century France. After 1839 he published a constant stream of lithograph designs for furniture, both his own designs and illustrations of the products of commercial firms, which provide an important source for the study of furniture of the period. His chief work was the journal Le Garde-meuble ancien et moderne, which he edited from 1844 to 1882. After 1846 he also published a supplement, L’Ameublement et l’utilité, which soon merged with the parent publication: lithographic designs of seat furniture, case furniture and hangings were reproduced, aimed at both tradesmen and clients. The plates also include general views of interiors and plans of furniture layouts, which give a comprehensive view of the development of styles. Guilmard produced albums recording the furniture shown at the Expositions Universelles of 1844, 1849 and 1855 in Paris and a long series of albums showing designs for particular types of furniture, woodwork fittings or upholstery. He was an important figure in the developing study of historical ornament and design: as early as ...

Article

Sherban Cantacuzino

(b Lyon, 1867; d New York, May 20, 1942).

French architect, furniture designer and writer. After attending the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, in 1885 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; he left four years later without a diploma, however, to work for a builder as both architect and site craftsman. The influence of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc is evident in his early works, particularly the Ecole du Sacré-Coeur (1895), in which the exposed cast-iron structure of V-shaped columns is an adaptation of a drawing taken from Viollet-le-Duc’s Entretiens sur l’architecture (1863–72). These early commissions, built in a picturesque and eclectic manner, culminated in the Castel Béranger block of flats, Paris, where his first use of the Art Nouveau style appeared in its decorative elements. He visited Brussels in 1895, where he met Victor Horta, whose Maison du Peuple was then under construction. After seeing Horta’s work Guimard made changes to the original neo-Gothic decorative elements of the Castel Béranger, introducing a colourful mixture of facing materials and organically derived embellishments, based on his belief that decoration is the more effective for being non-representational. Between ...