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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

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 – 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

(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

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

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

Anna Rowland

(Lajos)

(b Pécs, May 21, 1902; d New York, July 1, 1981).

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (1897–1972). Breuer soon became an outstanding student in the carpentry workshop, which he led in its endeavours to find radically innovative forms for modern furniture. In practice, this meant rejecting traditional forms, which were considered symbolic of bourgeois life. The results of these experiments were initially as idiosyncratic as those of other workshops at Weimar, including the adoption of non-Western forms, for example the African chair (1921; see Rowland, 1990, p. 66) and an aggressively castellated style inspired by Constructivism.

Breuer was impressed by De Stijl, whose founder Theo van Doesburg made his presence felt in Weimar 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

Italian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1900.

Born 12 February 1856, in Milan; died 1940, in Molsheim (Bas-Rhin), France.

Painter, sculptor, designer of ornamental architectural features, decorative artist. Portraits. Furniture.

Orientalism, Art Nouveau.

Carlo Bugatti studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was originally interested in architecture, producing work that was heavily influenced by the strong styles of ancient Egypt and Islam. He later decided to devote himself to designing furniture and ornamentation. His talent was soon recognised and he was awarded many distinctions at exhibitions in London, Turin and at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. He sold his company in Milan and settled in Paris, then in 1910 in Compiègne. At the end of his life, beset by tragedies, including the suicide of his son Rembrandt in 1916, he went to live with his other son, Ettore, who had the car factory at Molsheim. Giovanni, Ettore's son and heir, was killed when testing a car in 1939....

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 17 April 1731, in Aix-en-Provence; died 15 November 1788, in Paris.

Architect, sculptor, draughtsman, designer of ornamental architectural features. Decorative motifs. Furniture.

Gilles Cauvet, sculptor to Monsieur, the king's brother, banished the mannered style from interior decoration, preferring classical simplicity. He was director of the Académie de St-Luc in Paris, and organised the Exhibition of ...

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1940.

Born 4 August 1883, in Bordeaux; died 24 August 1950, in New York.

Decorative artist, architect, designer, draughtsman. Furniture.

Art Deco.

Pierre Chareau worked in France until 1939, then went to live in New York. He regularly participated in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in Paris. In ...

Article

Marta Galicki

(b Stockholm, April 25, 1709; d Stockholm, Nov 9, 1777).

Swedish architect, administrator, designer and collector. Considered the most technically orientated of 18th-century Swedish architects, he studied mechanics under the engineer Christoffer Polhem (1661–1751) and architecture and drawing with Carl Hårleman and continued his studies in Paris and Rome, while recruiting artisans for work on the Royal Palace, Stockholm. He became Hårleman’s assistant during the construction of the palace and succeeded him as Superintendent of Works (1753–68). He used the Baroque style in his refurbishment of the interior of the church of St Mary, Stockholm (1760). He was also responsible for the Rococo interiors of the royal palaces of Drottningholm and Stockholm and designed several country houses, such as Svenneby in Östergötland and Myrö in Närke (both 1770). As an urban planner he is best known for his designs for bridges. He also invented (1767) a type of tiled stove that remained a typical feature of Swedish interiors (...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...

Article

Marcus Whiffen

Late 19th-century style of American architecture and furniture. It owed its name to the furniture designs of Charles Locke Eastlake (see Eastlake family, §3), which became widely known because of his book Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and Other Details, first published in London in 1868 and in Boston, MA, in 1872. The book was an immediate success in the USA, and six more American editions appeared in the next eleven years. In the preface to the fourth English edition (1878), Eastlake wrote of his dismay at finding ‘American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call “Eastlake” furniture …for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible’. Eastlake-style furniture of the 1870s by such firms as Mason & Hamlin was decorated profusely with heavily carved Gothic ornament, whereas Eastlake’s own furniture had decoration that was simpler and more sparingly applied to emphasize function....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 12 April 1871, in Berlin; died 15 April 1925, in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland).

Draughtsman, architect, decorative artist, designer, illustrator, author. Furniture, jewellery, lamps, art objects.

Jugendstil.

Deutscher Werkbund.

In Munich, August Endell studied philosophy, art history, aesthetics and psychology, notably a course run by Theodor Lipp on the psychological effect of the perception of lines and forms. There, in ...

Article

Nicholas Bullock

(b Linz, Oct 15, 1889; d Vienna, March 27, 1957).

Austrian architect, furniture designer and teacher. He trained first in Linz and from 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna, under the Neo-classicist Karl König (1841–1915). He completed a year in Josef Hoffmann’s studio at the Wagnerschule in 1913–14, and after World War I he returned to work with Hoffmann, rising to be his senior assistant and helping with the development of the Wiener Werkstätte. In 1926 he left to work in Clemens Holzmeister’s studio, teaching with him at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. Active in the Österreichischer Werkbund during the 1920s and 1930s, Fellerer built two houses (1932) for the Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna. In 1934 he was appointed Director of the Kunstgewerbeschule and succeeded Hoffmann as head of its architectural section until he was dismissed by the Nazis in 1938. From 1934 he was also in private practice with Eugen Wörle (b 1909) and won a Grand Prix at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris in ...