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Gordon Campbell

(b 1883; d 1935).

Basque–French cartoonist, interior decorator and designer, notably of furniture but also of wallpaper, textiles and jewellery. His early work is in an Art Nouveau idiom, but he gradually became a pioneering exponent of Art Deco. Pierre(-Emile) Legrain was initially his employee and later his collaborator. In 1914 Inbe moved to America, where he worked as a set designer, and in ...

Article

[Christiaan]

(b Amsterdam, May 26, 1878; d Dachau, April 2, 1945).

Dutch painter, designer and applied artist. He trained in design and decorative painting at the Quellinus school and the Rijksschool voor Kunstnijverheid (National School of the Applied Arts) in Amsterdam from 1892 to 1899. He was assigned to assist with the decoration of the Dutch pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. A number of his designs for the pavilion were executed in batik, a Javanese technique that had been recently introduced in the Netherlands. In subsequent years Lebeau developed a very personal approach to batiking and within a short time became the leading Dutch artist in this field. His batiked screens in particular were widely acclaimed (examples in Assen, Prov. Mus. Drenthe) and are considered masterpieces of Dutch Jugendstil.

Lebeau is one of the most important representatives of the severe, geometrical trend in Dutch applied arts of the early 20th century. From 1903 he designed damask tablecloths and household linen for the ...

Article

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain

(b Banyuls-sur-Mer, Oct 8, 1861; d Perpignan, Sept 24, 1944).

French sculptor, painter, designer and illustrator. He began his career as a painter and tapestry designer, but after c. 1900 devoted himself to three-dimensional work, becoming one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. He concentrated almost exclusively on the nude female figure in the round, consciously wishing to strip form of all literary associations and architectural context. Although inspired by the Classical tradition of Greek and Roman sculpture, his figures have all the elemental sensuousness and dignity associated with the Mediterranean peasant.

Maillol first intended to become a painter and went to Paris in 1881, where he lived in extreme poverty. Three years later the Ecole des Beaux-Arts finally accepted him as a pupil, where he began studies under Alexandre Cabanel. He found the teaching there discouraging and his early painted work was more strongly influenced by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Paul Gauguin, and the Nabis group which he joined around ...

Article

(b Paisley, Renfrewshire, 1864; d Corfe Castle, Dorset, 1948).

Scottish embroiderer and designer. She was the eldest child of William Rowat, a successful shawl manufacturer, and was educated in Paisley and Edinburgh. In 1882 she visited Italy where she was impressed by the mosaics at Ravenna and by peasant craftwork. On her return she attended the Glasgow School of Art, where she studied life drawing and anatomy, later taking a design course in stained glass and textiles. In 1889 she married the school’s principal, Francis H. Newbery (1853–1946), and in 1894 began giving embroidery classes that laid the foundation of the department whose innovative work won international acclaim.

Newbery rebelled against the over-elaborate, stereotyped, poorly designed embroidery predominant at the time, preferring instead to encourage originality and individuality. She stressed that the quality of embroidery was not dependent on intricate stitches and laborious execution: ‘I try to make the most appearance with least effort, but insist that what work is ventured on is as perfect as it may be’ (Gleeson White, p. 48). She believed that embroidery should be an art form available to all social classes: because it was as effective on cheap fabrics, such as linen and calico, as on silks and velvets, it was appropriate for utilitarian as well as decorative items. Most of her embroidery was applied to practical items such as furnishings, collars and belts. As a result of her teaching, embroidery was seen as a specialist subject linked to the other arts....

Article

M. W. F. Simon Thomas

(b Noord Scharwoude, April 26, 1866; d Noord Scharwoude, Dec 5, 1951).

Dutch decorative artist and designer. After training as a blacksmith at technical college, he studied at the Rijkskunstnijverheidsschool in Amsterdam. When he had problems finding work after his course, he travelled in 1889–90 with friend and fellow student Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof to Berlin, Vienna and Paris. In 1892 he entered a competition with Dijsselhof and C. A. Lion Cachet to design a certificate for the Vereniging van Boekhandels (Society of Bookshops). The three resulting woodcut designs are considered to be some of the earliest examples of Nieuwe Kunst. The stylized floral motifs, used in a flat, linear manner, are typical of this. His graphic works include a variety of calendars produced with Dijsselhof and Lion Cachet for the Scheltema & Holkema booksellers.

Nieuwenhuis also designed batiks, carpets, table and wall damask, upholstery fabrics, furniture, metalwork and ceramics. From 1898 many of his designs were executed by the furniture workshop of the art dealers ...

Article

Peg Weiss

(b Kilchberg, Switzerland, May 23, 1862; d Munich, Feb 26, 1927).

Swiss artist, craftsman and teacher. After studying science and medicine at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (1885–7), he travelled in England and Scotland in 1887. There the Arts and Crafts Movement influenced his decision to turn his attentions to the applied arts. Following brief studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Karlsruhe and an apprenticeship as a potter, his ceramics and furniture won gold medals at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. In 1890 he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, before visiting Berlin and Florence, where he experimented in marble sculpture and established an embroidery studio in which his own designs could be carried out; he moved his studio to Munich in 1894.

In April 1896 an exhibition in Munich at the Galerie Littauer of 35 embroideries designed by Obrist and executed by Berthe Ruchet attracted considerable critical acclaim, with commentators referring to the birth of a new applied art. To further his artistic ideals Obrist founded the ...

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Munich, June 20, 1868; d Munich, April 13, 1957).

German designer, architect and painter. The son of a textile manufacturer, he studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Munich (1888–90); he painted primarily at the beginning and end of his career, and he was a member of the Munich Secession. In 1895 Riemerschmid designed his first furniture, in a neo-Gothic style, for his and his wife’s flat on Hildegardstrasse in Munich. In 1897 he exhibited furniture and paintings at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich. Immediately following the exhibition, the committee members of the decorative arts section, including Riemerschmid and Hermann Obrist, founded the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk. In 1898 Riemerschmid was commissioned to design a music room for the Munich piano manufacturer J. Mayer & Co., which was subsequently exhibited at the Deutsche Kunstausstellung exhibition in Dresden in 1899. The armchair and side chair, with its diagonal bracing, designed for this room, are some of his most original and best-known designs. In ...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, Nov 10, 1859; d Paris, Dec 13, 1923).

French illustrator, printmaker, painter and sculptor, of Swiss birth. After studying at the University at Lausanne and working as an apprentice designer in a textile factory in Mulhouse, Steinlen arrived in Paris in 1881 and quickly established himself in Montmartre, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In 1883 the illustrator Adolphe Willette introduced him to the avant-garde literary and artistic environment of the Chat Noir cabaret which had been founded in 1881 by another Swiss expatriot, Rodolphe Salis. Steinlen soon became an illustrator of its satirical and humorous journal, Chat noir, and an artistic collaborator with writers such as Emile Zola, poets such as Jean Richepin, composers such as Paul Delmet, artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and, most important, the singer and songwriter Aristide Bruant, all of whom he encountered at the Chat Noir. Bruant’s lyrics incorporate the argot of the poor, the worker, the rogue, the pimp and the prostitute, for whom Steinlen’s empathy had been awakened on reading Zola’s novel ...

Article

Aleksandr U. Grekov

Russian estate lying 18 km from Smolensk. It was acquired in 1893 by Prince Vyacheslav Tenishev (1843–1903) and his wife Mariya Tenisheva. In the 19th century and the early 20th Princess Tenisheva, with the help of her husband’s capital (he was a leading industrialist and businessman), turned Talashkino into a unique artistic centre in the forefront of the revival of peasant handicrafts. She founded various workshops for joinery, ceramics, wood-carving, wood painting, metal chasing and fabric dyeing, where local craftsmen and apprentices from the peasantry worked under professional artists. They manufactured different objects for everyday life, including towels, clothes, wooden bowls, plates and toys. This took place in the context of the mutual enrichment of folk crafts and professional Art Nouveau in Russia at that time. Tenisheva formed a large collection of objects from traditional folk life, and of artistic products. Originally they were housed on the estate, where a museum, Russkaya Starina (‘Russian antiquity’), was opened to all in ...