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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

Joellen Secondo

(b Peckham Rye, London, Jan 29, 1845; d London, April 18, 1910).

English designer and writer. He was educated in France and Germany, but his interest in design was provided by visits to the South Kensington Museum, London (now the Victoria & Albert Museum). In 1865 he entered the office of Lavers & Barraud, glass painters and designers. Some time later he became keeper of cartoons at Clayton & Bell and by 1870 had joined Heaton, Butler & Bayne, for whom he worked on the decoration of Eaton Hall, Ches. In late 1880 Day started his own business designing textiles, wallpapers, stained glass, embroidery, carpets, tiles, pottery, furniture, silver, jewellery and book covers. He designed tiles for Maw & Co. and Pilkington’s Tile and Pottery Co., stained glass and wallpaper for W. B. Simpson & Co., wallpapers for Jeffrey & Co. and textiles for Turnbull & Stockdale where he was made Art Director in 1881.

Day was a founder-member and Secretary of the ...

Article

Penny Sparke

(b New York, NY, Dec 20, 1865; d Versailles, July 12, 1950).

American interior decorator, active also in France. Born in New York, in the early 1890s she became a professional actress, wearing couture clothes on stage. Recognized as a better “clothes horse” than actress, she transformed herself, aged 40, into an interior decorator. This was partly made possible by the support of her female companion, Elizabeth Marbury, with whom she lived from the early 1890s until World War I, in a house in Irving Place, New York.

Although de Wolfe’s first major interior decorating project, the Colony Club (1905–7) in New York, was undertaken in a Colonial style, on the many projects that she undertook over the next decade across the USA, she used a revived French 18th-century style that was favored by her nouveau riche clients, among them Lolita and J. Ogden Armour, based in Chicago, and Ethel and William H. Crocker in California. In 1913 she wrote a highly successful decorating advice book, ...

Article

(b Bristol, May 26, 1833; d London, Oct 6, 1886).

English architect, designer and writer. He had an early interest in archaeology, which was fostered by fragments of medieval carving in his parents’ garden. From the age of 15 he began sketching buildings all over the West Country. In 1851 he contributed illustrations to The Antiquities of Bristol and Neighbourhood, by which time he was apprenticed to William Armstrong of Bristol. Armstrong, perhaps recognizing Godwin’s aptitude, entrusted him with much of his architectural work. This brought Godwin early responsibility but little formal training, a lack that he felt dogged his professional life. In 1854 he established an independent practice, and in an attempt to further his career, in 1856 he joined his brother, an engineer, in Londonderry, Ireland. During his visit he studied castles and abbeys throughout Ireland. He also designed three small Roman Catholic churches in a severe Gothic style at St Johnstown (1857–61), Newtown Cunningham (...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Stuttgart, Jan 8, 1839; d New York, Nov 2, 1883).

American cabinetmaker and designer of German birth. He completed his studies in Stuttgart and Paris and arrived in New York in 1859 to join his half-brother, Gustave Herter (1830–98), who ran a decorating business. After becoming an American citizen in 1867, he travelled to Paris and England, returning c. 1870, when he bought Herter Bros from Gustave. The firm’s luxurious furniture and interiors from the early 1870s show the influence of the Paris Opéra by Charles Garnier, which he had no doubt seen. From the mid-1870s, however, the work of Herter Bros exhibited the more restrained and geometric lines of English design reformers, particularly the architect E. W. Godwin, who promoted an enthusiasm for things Japanese. Although Herter’s best Eastlake-style furniture reflects many of the reform ideas, he also used earlier Renaissance Revival (see fig.) and Néo-Grec designs (see fig.). Much of his work shows a strong Japanese flavour, with angular, ebonized cherry cases enlivened with wild flower, insect and bird marquetry (...

Article

Mark Alan Hewitt

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 9, 1872; d Philadelphia, PA, Oct 30, 1938).

American architect and campus planner. Klauder was the son of Louis Klauder, a German-born furniture manufacturer, and Anna Caroline Koehler. He trained as an apprentice under the architect Theophilus P. Chandler from the age of 15, furthering his studies at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia. Between 1893 and 1900 he worked at a number of prominent Philadelphia firms before attaining the position of chief draftsman at Frank Miles Day & Brother (see under Frank Miles Day). He became a partner in 1910 and continued the firm under his own name after Day’s death in 1918.

Klauder teamed with the English-born Day to design some of the nation’s most influential and distinguished campus buildings during the heyday of university expansion in the early 20th century. Along with Cope & Stewardson, Day & Klauder may be credited with the invention of the Collegiate Gothic idiom in American architecture. Their early work at Princeton and Cornell universities set the standard for dormitory and classroom designs in the Ivy League. Klauder extended the Gothic idiom during the 1920s to incorporate elements of Art Deco abstraction and modern building technology. Klauder created campus plans for the University of Colorado (...

Article

Ronald R. McCarty

(b Benicia, CA, Dec 12, 1872; d Palm Beach, FL, Feb 5, 1933).

American architect, interior designer, city planner, and developer. Mizner specialized in Mediterranean Revival architecture in California, New York, and Florida during the early 20th century and founded Mizner Industries, Inc. Mizner was the second youngest son born to Lansing Bond Mizner and Ella Watson Mizner. His father was an accomplished lawyer, politician, and landowner, later becoming the American ambassador to five republics in Latin America that are now Guatemala, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica. Travelling internationally with his father, Addison became fluent in Spanish and was inspired by the 16th- and 17th-century Spanish architecture of Central America. After moving to San Francisco in 1890, he attended Boones University in Berkeley. He continued his education at the University of Salamanca in Spain in 1892–3. Returning to the USA he began his professional training in San Francisco as an apprentice draftsman in 1894 with the firm of Willis J. Polk, becoming a full partner with the firm in ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Marlboro, MA, Aug 25, 1867; d Lexington, MA, April 16, 1945).

American painter and frame designer. Murphy painted landscapes, still lifes and portraits in the Tonalist and Impressionist manner (see Tonalism and Impressionism). In the 1880s he enrolled in the Boston Museum School and studied under Edmund C(harles) Tarbell and Frank W(eston) Benson. After this period of study, he served as an illustrator for the Nicaraguan Canal Expedition in 1887 and contributed illustrations to books and magazines from 1888 to 1894. Once he had saved enough money from his illustration work, he left Boston to study in Paris at the Académie Julian from 1891 to 1896 with Jean-Paul Laurens. While in Paris, he met James McNeill Whistler who had the greatest influence on his work. Murphy returned to the Boston area in 1897 and was awarded the bronze medal at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. A year later he began teaching life drawing at Harvard School of Architecture, a position he held until ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(b Dundee, 1838; d London, Jan 28, 1881).

Scottish designer. He served an apprenticeship as a wood-carver in Dundee and ran his own carving business for two years before joining the office of Charles Edward, a local architect. Around 1856 he moved to Glasgow, working first in the practice of the architect W. N. Tait and then with Campbell Douglas (1828–1910). In 1862 he moved to Manchester, where he worked for the cabinetmakers Doveston, Bird & Hull, and by the end of the following year he was in Coventry, working for the wood- and metalworkers Skidmore’s Art Manufactures. In the mid-1860s Talbert moved to London, where he designed award-winning furniture for Holland & Sons’ stand at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. By 1868 he was designing furniture for Gillows of Lancaster, notably the ‘Pet’ sideboard (1873; London, V&A). He returned to Dundee to set up a design practice, and in 1868 (though dated 1867...