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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

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

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

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius 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

Mark Jones

(b Paris, Jan 17, 1913; d Paris, 1994).

French painter, sculptor, medallist and designer. He studied in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colours of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figure studies often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing in his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obsession with found objects which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.

Bénézit Roger Bezombes: Nice, débarcadère du Levant...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 4 January 1887, in London; died 1941.

Painter, illustrator, metal worker, textile designer. Landscapes.

Gregory Brown designed posters for railway companies, the Empire Marketing Board and for the Underground Group from 1914 to 1940. He won a gold medal for textile design at the ...

Article

Style rooted in 19th-century antiquarian studies of ancient Celtic art in Britain and Ireland. It was a mainly decorative style and first appeared in the 1840s, remaining fashionable from the 1890s to c. 1914 and lingering on through the 1920s. Derived from the complex, intertwining, linear motifs of ancient Celtic ornament, it was employed in metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, wall decoration, wood inlay, stone-carving and textiles. The Celtic Revival was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts Movement’s aim of social and artistic reform and was part of the general upsurge of Romantic interest in the Middle Ages. Its chief characteristics were raised bosses, tightly enmeshed roundels and bands of sinuous, criss-crossing lines, similar to but more abstract than Art Nouveau designs. Sources of inspiration were such Celtic antiquities as the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice (both 8th century ad; Dublin, N. Mus.), the Battersea Shield (c. 2nd century ...

Article

Martine Reid

(b Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC, Nov 4, 1946).

Native American Haida sculptor, metalworker, printmaker and blanket-maker. He was the grandson of the Haida blanket- and basket-maker Florence Davidson (1895–1993), and great-grandson of the Haida wood-carver Charles Edenshaw. He began carving argillite as a teenager in Masset, and in 1966 he met Bill Reid, who offered him workshop space in Vancouver. There Davidson developed new carving skills and learnt the fundamentals of the two-dimensional (‘formline’) designs used by the Haida and other tribes of the northern Northwest Coast (see Native North American art, §III, 2). In 1969 he returned to Masset to carve a 12.2 m-high totem pole, the first heraldic column to be raised on the Queen Charlotte Islands since the end of the 19th century. In 1987 Davidson and his crew produced a set of three totem poles entitled Three Variations on Killer Whale Myths for the Pepsicola Sculptural Garden in Purchase, NY. In these totem poles Davidson worked within the strict conventions of the Haida style, refining it by introducing subtle variations in design but preserving a degree of conservative austerity in which movement and individual expression are sacrificed to overall unity of form. In his early work in silver Davidson used flat patterns influenced by Edenshaw, and he went on to develop these into an innovative style of his own in screenprints, silver and bronze. Davidson’s younger brother, ...

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

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1874, in Neustadt bei Leipzig; died 1947, in Erbach/Westerwald.

Painter, draughtsman, interior designer, graphic designer. Designs (furniture, fabrics, porcelain, precious metals, jewels).

Jugendstil.

Erich Kleinhempel first trained with Oskar Haebler in his graphics studio in Dresden, then entered the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden, where he studied ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 21 November 1893, in Lyons; died 8 April 1953, in Lyons.

Coppersmith, medallist, sculptor, engraver.

Claudius Linossier was the son of silk weavers in La Croix-Rousse and began his career as an apprentice goldsmith in Lyons. He went to Paris in ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, female.

Born 5 November 1864, in Tipton (Staffordshire); died January 1933, in London.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtswoman. Decorative designs, stylised figures and vegetation. Gesso panels, metalwork, textiles.

Art Nouveau.

Glasgow School.

Margaret Macdonald moved to Glasgow with her family in 1890 and enrolled in the Glasgow School of Art with her sister Frances. There they met Charles Rennie Mackintosh and James Herbert McNair. In the mid-1890s, Margaret and Frances left to establish their own studio. Margaret worked in a variety of media including watercolours, metalwork, textiles, embroidery and gesso panels, often collaborating with her sister. Their work was exhibited during the fifth exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Society in London in ...

Article

Alan Powers

Stylistic term applied to the revival in the UK in the late 19th century and the 20th of the classical Georgian style of domestic architecture and interior and furniture design from the period 1714–1830. Similar, contemporary revivals of late 18th- and early 19th-century Georgian colonial styles also took place in such countries as the USA and Australia (see Colonial Revival). Neo-Georgian was one of the most popular architectural styles in the UK between 1900 and 1930; it continued to be employed despite the advent of Modernism, and in the 1980s a new phase of popularity began, stimulated by the anti-modernist, eclectic and pluralist trends of Post-modernism.

The origins of the Neo-Georgian style can be found in the 1860s. The house (1860–62; destr.) at 2 Palace Green, Kensington, London, designed for William Makepeace Thackeray by Frederick Hering (1800–69), who drew on Thackeray’s sketches, was an early, isolated example reflecting a literary interest in the 18th century. Another precursor is ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 19 March 1886, in Leek (Staffordshire); died 29 April 1967, in Eastbourne.

Engraver, painter, stained-glass artist, tapestry designer, metalworker. Seascapes.

John Edgar Platt studied under Robert Austin. From 1903 to 1904 he studied at Leek School of Art and from 1905 to 1908...

Article

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

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 ...

Article

Czech, 20th century, male.

Born 1882, in Prague, to German and Austrian parents; died 1976, in Bad Ischl.

Sculptor, draughtsman, designer. Designs for mosaics, glassware, metal objects, ceramics, fabrics, wallpapers.

Wolfgang von Wersin studied painting and architecture in Prague. In 1901 he settled in Munich where he pursued both of his careers. He was attracted to the quality of Jugendstil, particularly the innovations of Endell or Riemerschmid. He entered the private school founded by Hermann Obrist and Wilhelm Debschitz. He later became a teacher of modelling ...