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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

Gordon Campbell

English pottery established in 1883 by Henry Tooth and William Ault; its formal name was H. Tooth & Co. Ltd. Tooth had recently left Linthorpe Art Pottery, where he had worked with Christopher Dresser, who continued to contribute designs to the Bretby pottery. The pottery was initially housed in Church Gresley, Derbys, but with a year it had moved to Woodville, Derbys, where it was to remain until it closed in ...

Article

J. V. G. Mallet

English ceramic factory. The date of the foundation of the factory, situated in the London village of that name, is uncertain. It is likely that a French jeweller, Charles Gouyn (d 1785), founded the factory jointly with Nicholas Sprimont and that they obtained technical help from a German chemist, whose name is given, perhaps unreliably, as ‘d’Ostermann’. Around 1749, following initial losses, Gouyn left the partnership but continued to make, at Bennet Street, St James’s, or near Hyde Park Corner, ‘very beautiful small porcelain figures’ thought to include the scent bottles and seals of the so-called ‘Girl-in-a-swing’ class, which used formerly to be confused with Chelsea products. Sprimont’s first known connection with the Chelsea factory site was on 12 September 1744, and the earliest datable products are the ‘goat-and-bee’ jugs inscribed 1745; this seems a probable date when commercial production began. The factory expanded in size and productivity until ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

Article

Gordon Campbell and Rosamond Allwood

English pottery near Middlesbrough, Cleveland, established in 1879 with Christopher Dresser as the first artistic director and Henry Tooth as the first manager. The pottery mass-produced vases and tableware to Dresser's designs (see fig.), which were influenced by Asian and Pre-Columbian pottery. Dresser and Tooth left in 1882, and the pottery closed in 1889. The Dorman Museum in Middlesborough has more than 1000 examples of Linthorpe pottery, including c. 150 pieces with Dresser's impressed signature. Tooth went on to found the Bretby Art Pottery, where he continued to work with Dresser.

J. R. A. LeVine: Linthorpe Pottery (Middlesborough, 1970) C. W. Hart: Linthorpe Art Pottery...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Dark-blue colour associated with textiles (e.g. academic dress) and ceramics. In porcelain, it denotes an enamel ground colour used at Chelsea Porcelain Factory and Derby in imitation of the gros bleu of Sèvres Porcelain Factory and Vincennes Porcelain Factory. The word ‘Mazarin’ seems to refer vaguely to France rather than specifically to the cardinal....

Article

Gordon Campbell

[objets de vertu]

Decorative work in a fine material (e.g. glass, porcelain, semi-precious stones, silver or gold) that is attractive because of its antiquity, beauty and quality of workmanship. ‘Vertu’ (It. virtù) refers to a taste for curios or other works of art. The traditional form objets de vertu combines French and English spellings; as the Italian sense of ...

Article

Joellen Secondo

(b ?N. England, ?1840–50; d 1894–7).

English illustrator and designer. He received architectural training under William Salmon of Glasgow. He began his career as a designer in the London studio of Christopher Dresser, where he executed countless designs for furniture, decorations, wallpapers, carpets, tapestries, metalwork and pottery, which according to Smith were passed off as the work of Dresser. Smith contributed some of the designs and lithographed the plates for Sketches of Artistic Furniture, the 1871 catalogue of the London furniture-makers Collinson & Lock. His first publication, Studies for Pictures: A Medley (London, 1868), is dedicated to Dresser. His next two books, Album of Decorative Figures and Ancient Greek Female Costume (both London, 1882), reveal his interest in figurative designs. His most scholarly work was a history of interiors, Ornamental Interiors, Ancient to Modern (London, 1888).

Smith’s penchant for drawing literary, allegorical and historical figures in historical costumes is evident in the themes of the books he chose to illustrate and in his designs for tiles. During the 1870s and 1880s he produced illustrations for Greek myths, fairy tales and the writings of Plutarch and Shakespeare. Smith was a prolific designer for ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Toby fill-pot ; Toby toss-pot]

Earthenware jug or mug in the form of a stout old man wearing 18th-century clothing consisting of a long and full-skirted coat and a three-cornered hat. The first Toby jugs seem to have been made at the Staffordshire factory of Aaron Wood family in the 1760s, and were thereafter made by many European and American potteries....