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Article

Finnish, 20th century, male.

Born 3 February 1898, in Kuortane; died 11 May 1976, in Helsinki.

Architect, designer, painter, draughtsman, watercolourist. Figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, still-lifes. Models (furniture/glass).

Alvar Aalto was adamant that his experience as a painter was an indispensable adjunct to his profession as an architect, noting repeatedly that modern architecture had its roots in painting. As an architecture student, he took private lessons with the Finnish painter Eero Järnefelt. He moved in artistic circles and was frequently to be found in the company of the sculptor Wäinö Altonen and the painters Henry Ericsson and Eemu Myntti. For a period, he also worked as an art critic....

Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born February 1903, in Tunis; died 24 January 1978, in Aix-en-Provence.

Painter, architect, decorative designer, designer, poster artist. Wall decorations, stage costumes and sets, furniture, advertising art.

Art et Lumière.

Félix Tahar Marie Aublet was the son of the Orientalist painter Albert Aublet. He was brought up both in Neuilly, France, and in a Moorish palace in Tunis, where the family spent six months of the year. His second forename, Tahar, means 'blessed one' in Arabic. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born in Wassy (Haute-Marne).

Decorative designer.

Georges de Bardyere designed modern furniture, exhibiting it at the Salon d'Automne and Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in Paris between 1919 and 1934.

Paris (MAM)

Rennes (Mobilier Nat.)

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Antonio di Neri]

(b 1453; d 1516).

Italian intarsia designer, civil engineer, architect and engraver, was a native of Siena. From 1483 to 1502 he worked in Siena Cathedral, providing carving and intarsia for the choir-stalls in the chapel of San Giovanni (1483–1502; seven panels survive in La Collegiata in San Quirico d’Orcia and one in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Vienna) and building the benches for the Piccolomini library (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

English family of furniture designers and artist-craftsmen. Ernest (1863–1926) and his brother Sidney (1865–1926) worked with Ernest Gimson in the design and construction of furniture in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sidney’s son Edward (1900–87) carried on the business at a shop established in Froxfield (Petersfield, Hants) in ...

Article

French, 19th century, male.

Born 19th century, in Paris.

Painter, decorative designer.

Exhibited furniture at the Paris Salon d'Automne of 1910.

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active also active in Italy.

Born 31 October 1957, in Bordeaux.

Architect, designer, draughtswoman. Furniture, rug design.

Martine Bedin was awarded a bursary to study architecture in Florence in 1978, and then graduated from the École d'Architecture in Paris. She began her formal research in ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 14 April 1868, in Hamburg; died 27 February 1940, in Berlin.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, designer, decorative artist, graphic designer. Posters, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, glassware, ceramics, table services, jewellery, silverwork, objets d'art, typefaces.

Jugendstil, functional school.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven), Deutscher Werkbund...

Article

British, 20th century, female.

Born 13 May 1879, near London; died 7 April 1961, in Sussex.

Painter, engraver, illustrator, designer, graphic designer. Still-lifes, landscapes, portraits. Designs for wallpapers and fabrics, furniture, stage sets.

Bloomsbury Group, Omega Workshops, London Group, Euston Road School.

Vanessa Bell was the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, the sister of Virginia Woolf and the wife of the art historian Clive Bell. She started her training with the Royal Academician Sir Arthur Cope, and continued it at the Royal Academy of Art under the direction of the American portrait painter John Singer Sargent between 1900 and 1904....

Article

(b London, Oct 17, 1854; d Manorbier, Dyfed, July 5, 1924).

English designer. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. c. 1890; London, V&A). These items were displayed in S. Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Paris, and were used in the Morris & Co. interiors at Wightwick Manor, W. Midlands (NT), and Standen, East Grinstead, W. Sussex. Many of Benson’s designs were patented, including those for jacketed vessels, which keep hot or cold liquids at a constant temperature, and for a ‘Colander’ teapot with a button mechanism for raising the tea leaves after the tea has infused. Benson sold his designs, labelled ‘Art Metal’, through his showroom on Bond Street, which opened in ...

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in Germany.

Born 31 December 1849, in St Gall; died 1921, in Planegg.

Architect, painter, decorative designer, theorist. Designs (furniture/fabrics/metal objects/ceramics).

Jugendstil.

From 1868 to 1871 Hans Eduard von Berlepsch-Valendas was a student of architecture with Gottfried Sempers in Zurich. After graduating he abandoned architecture while he was living in Frankfurt, to go and train as a painter in Munich (...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b San Lorenzo, nr Reggio di Calabria, March 10, 1915; d Barto, PA, Nov 6, 1978).

American sculptor and furniture designer of Italian birth. After settling in the USA in 1930, he studied at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit (1936), and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI (1937–9), where he taught metalworking and produced abstract silver jewellery and colour monoprints. In 1943 he moved to California to assist in the development of the first of a series of chairs designed by Charles O. Eames. His first sculptures date from the late 1940s. In 1950 he established himself in Bally, PA, where he designed the Bertoia chair (1952), several forms of which were marketed by Knoll International. His furniture is characterized by the use of moulded and welded wire; in the case of the Bertoia chair, the chromium-plated steel wire is reshaped by the weight of the sitter. Bertoia also worked on small sculptures, directly forged or welded bronzes. The first of his many large architectural sculptures was a screen commissioned in ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1873, in Munich; died 1933, in Bad Nauheim.

Tapestry maker, glassmaker, interior designer. Designs (furniture).

Jugendstil.

Karl Bertsch was a self-taught tapestry maker. In 1902, with Adelbert Niemeyer, he created a workshop making furniture and interior decoration items, which they called the Müncher Werkstätten für Wohnungseinrichtung. In ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(fl London, 1865–82).

English furniture designer and manufacturer. He may have been trained by the Gothic Revival architect and furniture designer J. P. Seddon, whose work certainly influenced his first published design, a davenport in a geometric Reformed Gothic style, in the Building News of 1865. That year he also advertised a ‘New Registered Reclining Chair’, made by Marsh & Jones of Leeds, whose London showrooms were near his own premises off Cavendish Square. In 1865 Marsh & Jones supplied the Yorkshire mill-owner Sir Titus Salt with a large group of furniture, including a bedroom suite, and in 1867 with the case of an Erard grand piano (all Leeds, Temple Newsam House) designed by Bevan; described at the time as ‘medieval’, the pieces are decorated with geometric marquetry ornament. Bevan designed a bookcase for the Manchester firm James Lamb, which was shown in the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867, and by the following year was also designing for ...

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 31 July 1863, in Rolle (Vaud); died 1948, in Lausanne.

Painter, engraver, decorative artist. Figure compositions, figures, portraits. Murals, designs for stained glass, furniture.

Art Nouveau.

Ernest Bieler was the uncle of André Charles Bieler. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger. He divided his time between the mountainous regions of the Valais and the shores of Lake Geneva; his body of work evokes the everyday life of the peasant communities in the Valais and the Canton of Vaud at the beginning of the twentieth century. Bieler was commissioned to paint compositions for the ceiling of the Victoria hall in Geneva; decorative panels and windows for the federal government building in Bern; stained glass windows for the Vevey church of St-Martin; and decorations for the vintners' festival. Additionally, he exhibited woodcut engravings and designed furniture....

Article

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Born in Amsterdam.

Decorative artist, architect.

Bijvoet collaborated with Jan Duiker on designs for houses and furniture. He exhibited at the Salon d'Automne from 1924 to 1927.

Article

Christian Norberg-Schulz

Norwegian architectural and furniture design partnership formed in 1922 by Gudolf Blakstad (b Gjerpen, 19 May 1893; d Oslo, 1986) and Herman Munthe-Kaas (b Christiania [now Oslo], 25 May 1890; d Oslo, 5 March 1970). Blakstad was awarded his diploma as an architect at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim in 1916. He collaborated with Jens Dunker on the New Theatre, Oslo, from 1919 to 1929. After a preliminary training in Christiania, Munthe-Kaas finished his education at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1919.

From the beginning of their careers Blakstad and Munthe-Kaas played a leading role in Norwegian architecture. After studying in Italy in the early 1920s, they advocated Neo-classicism in architectural projects, furniture designs and writings. In 1922 they won the competition for the new Town Hall in Haugesund (1924–31), a major work of 20th-century Norwegian Neo-classicism. Above a powerfully rusticated basement, the long office wing with its regular fenestration contrasts with the higher City Council Hall, accentuated by pairs of monumental, free-standing columns. In general the effect is of robust strength and an exciting interplay of horizontals and verticals....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born in Paris.

Decorative designer.

Gabriel Bouvier exhibited furniture at the Salon d'Automne.