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Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...

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

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American family of joiners and cabinetmakers, active in Hadfield, MA. The brothers John Allis (1642–91) and Samuel Allis (1647–91), whose maternal great-uncle was Nicholas Disbrowe, were both joiners, as was John’s son Ichabod (1675–1747). The firm was managed by John Allis the elder, and employed his brother and sons; John the elder’s partner was ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1773; d 1855).

American cabinetmaker, active in New York throughout the first half of the 19th century; the principal competitor of his neighbour Duncan Phyfe. Allison’s furniture is characterized by the use of high-quality mahogany and a principled austerity in the use of decoration. His early work is in the Hepplewhite style, and his later work is modelled on Sheraton....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1756; d 1833).

American chair-maker, active in Philadelphia, specializing in Windsor chairs, which were painted or gilded. His relatives (possibly sons) John and Peter Allwine were apprenticed to him. The first family workshop opened on South Front Street in 1791, and the last, on Sassafras Street (now Race Street), closed in 1809, when Lawrence and John migrated to Zanesville, in Muskingum County, OH, they continued to make chairs, and also ran a tavern. Lawrence Allwine is the eponym of the varnish known as ‘Allwine Gloss’....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 February 1946, in Washington DC.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist, glassmaker, decorative designer. Theatre design.

AfriCobra Group.

Akili Ron Anderson attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University in Washington DC where he lives and works. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) founded in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 11 May 1865, in St Louis (Missouri).

Painter, decorative designer.

Sylvester P. Annan studied in Paris with Jules Lefebvre, Boulanger and Luigi Loir. He was a member of the Society of Western Artists and the Artists' Guild of St Louis, and was also an architect....

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, female.

Active in New Yorkc.1905-1906.

Born 1869, in Florence, Italy; died 1948.

Painter, decorative designer.

Article

Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1717; d 1785).

American furniture-maker whose New York workshop specialized in chairs in the Chippendale style. His reputation is largely based on attributed pieces, such as the sets of chairs made for Sir William Johnson (now divided, examples in Winterthur, DE, Dupont Winterthur Mus. and New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.) and for the Van Rensselaer family (New York, Met.)....

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born in Pernambuco.

Painter. Designs (wallpapers).

Ayres exhibited wallpapers at the Salon d'Automne in 1913.

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Milton, MA, 1751; d Dorchester Lower Mills, MA, Aug 25, 1815).

American cabinetmaker . His father, also Stephen Badlam (1721–58), was a part-time cabinetmaker and tavern keeper. Orphaned at a young age, Badlam was trained both as a surveyor and as a cabinetmaker. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned as a major in the artillery. He resigned within a year because of illness but after the war was made a general in the Massachusetts militia. On his return to Dorchester Lower Mills, he opened a cabinetmaking shop in his house and became active in civic affairs. He built up a substantial business, which included participation in the thriving coast trade, and even sold furniture through the warehouse of Thomas Seymour in Boston. He also provided turning for other cabinetmakers in the neighbourhood and sold picture-frame materials and window glass. Several chairs in the Federal style with characteristic carved and stopped fluted legs are stamped with his mark, but his fame rests on the monumental mahogany chest-on-chest (...

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, female.

Born 1871, in Chicago.

Painter, decorative designer.

Frances Louise Baker trained in Paris with Collin and Merson.

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1760; d 1838).

Irish–American cabinetmaker. He was a native of Dublin who trained in London before emigrating in late 1794 to Philadelphia, which was then the capital of America. In 1812 he entered into partnership with his son and advertised his ‘fashionable Cabinet Furniture, superbly finished in the rich Egyptian and Gothic style’. Surviving examples of his furniture are in Neo-classical style, such as the sideboard in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City....

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1861, in Detroit (Michigan); died 1938, in Katonah (New York), committed suicide.

Painter, pastellist, engraver. Animals, landscapes, still-lifes. Wall decorations.

George Randolph Barse studied in Paris between 1878 and 1884 with Cabanel, Boulanger and Lefebvre. Among his decorative paintings is ...

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1 June 1873, in Chicago; died 1953, in Beverly (Massachusetts).

Painter, decorative designer.

Frederick Clay Bartlett studied in Munich and in Paris in the studios of Louis Joseph Collin and Aman-Jean. He took classes with Whistler at his short-lived Paris school before returning to Chicago in ...