[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 ...
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....
(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).
English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.
In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...
Frederick N. Bohrer
Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries
Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...
[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]
(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).
American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...
Elizabeth McMahon and Lourdes Font
(b Abbeville, July 2, 1747; d Epinay, Sept 22, 1813).
French marchande de modes (see fig.). Marchandes de modes, literally merchants of fashion, were milliners and stylists. They designed and sold fashion accessories, including hats and headdresses, and helped women style their ensembles. They acted as coordinators among tailors, dressmakers, linen drapers and other trades, operating outside the regulations that governed those guilds. Bertin became the most influential Parisian marchandes de mode thanks to her talents for design and self-promotion and the patronage of Queen Marie-Antoinette, the undisputed leader of fashion in the late 18th century. Bertin helped elevate the status of the marchandes de modes to that of a creative genius who set the standard for what was fashionable.
Marie-Jeanne Bertin was born to working-class parents. As a girl she was apprenticed to a Mme Barbier, a dressmaker in Abbeville. In 1770 she moved to Paris and likely worked for a marchande de modes, as this was the nature of the first shop she opened herself in the same year on the Quai de Gesvres. Within three years, Bertin had established another shop, ‘Au Grand Mogul’, in the more fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré....
Type of lace made since the 17th century at Binche, near Brussels and Valenciennes, both of whose laces it resembles. It is a heavy lace with decorative grounds, and was used for bedspreads and as a costume trimming. The name has since become the generic term for the type of lace once made at Binche....
Edna Carter Southard
(b Paris, Feb 1, 1874; d Villejuif, nr Paris, Dec 16, 1907).
French painter and printmaker. The son of an Italian hairdresser who sold antiques, Bottini always lived in the Montmartre area of Paris except for two years of military service from 1895. He favoured the English fashions, bars, and language (as in the titles of his pictures and the spelling of his first name). Apprenticed with Annibale Gatti (1828–1909) from 1889 to 1891, he studied at Fernand Cormon’s studio and first showed at Edouard Kleinmann’s gallery in 1894. From 1897 he showed large oil paintings at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He collaborated on woodcuts with Harry van der Zee from 1896 in compositions influenced by Japanese prints, for example Arrival at the Masked Ball (1897; Paris, Bib. N., Cab. Est.). His woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings sold quickly after publication by Edmond D. Sagot. Bottini illustrated for Le Rire in 1897, made several posters, and from ...
(b Warren County, NY, 1823; d New York, Jan 15, 1896).
American photographer. At the age of 16 Brady left his home town and moved to nearby Saratoga. There he learnt how to manufacture jewellery cases and met William Page, who taught him the techniques of painting. Impressed by his ability, Page took Brady to New York in 1841 to study with Samuel F(inley) B(reese) Morse at the Academy of Design, and to attend Morse’s school of daguerreotypy; there Brady learnt the details of photographic technique. After experimenting with the medium from 1841 to 1843, Brady set up his Daguerrean Miniature Gallery in New York (1844), where he both took and exhibited daguerreotypes. Very soon he established a considerable reputation and in 1845 won first prize in two classes of the daguerreotype competition run by the American Institute. He concentrated on photographic portraits, especially of famous contemporary Americans, such as the statesman Henry Clay (1849; Washington, DC, Lib. Congr.). In ...
(b Schavli, Kovno [now Kaunas], June 12, 1871; d New York, April 5, 1924).
American medallist of Lithuanian origin. He trained as a seal-engraver under his father and worked as a jewellery engraver and type cutter. In 1890 he went to New York, where he worked as a die engraver of badges, and in 1898 to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and later with Oscar Roty. He first exhibited medals in the early years of the 20th century. The influence of Roty is apparent in the low relief and soft-edged naturalism and also in the inclusion of flat expanses of metal in his designs. He occasionally ventured into sculpture, as in the Schenley Memorial Fountain (bronze; Pittsburgh, PA, Schenley Park), but he was best known for his medals and plaquettes, both struck and cast, and his sensitive portraits assured his popularity. The powerful head of President Roosevelt on the Panama Canal medal (bronze, 1908) and the tender Shepherdess plaquette (electrotype, 1907...
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 ...
[Karel] (François Gommaire)
(b Brussels, Oct 13, 1837; d Uccle, July 13, 1914).
Belgian urban planner and writer. The son of a jeweller, he spent a somewhat isolated youth: poor health enhanced a shyness, which set him apart from other children. Although he completed secondary schooling, in terms of his vocation he was largely self-taught. After nearly two years of artistic training in Paris and Italy, he gave up plans to follow in his father’s trade, choosing instead to take up the cause of educational reform. With some of his liberal friends he founded in 1864 the Ligue de l’Enseignement, a pressure group with close ties to Masonic circles. He particularly devoted himself to drawing primary instruction away from ecclesiastical influence and to setting up a new teaching method based on comprehension and experience rather than on learning by rote. In 1875 he became the first director of a successful model school created according to these new didactical objectives.
All the while Buls was deeply concerned with the development of the decorative arts. Disappointment with the appeal of the artistic production of his time made him turn to history for roots and principles that might provide a more invigorating approach. Influenced by the mid-19th-century German art historians, Karl Schnaase and Wilhelm Lübke, and by the aesthetic theories of Gottfried Semper, he soon adopted their rationalist thesis whereby each of the decorative arts was to be determined by its use, the properties of its materials and the method of construction. Philosophical considerations by Kant and Schopenhauer convinced him that eternal ideas were the foundation of aesthetical contemplation, ideas that Buls related to the inherent nature and tradition of the population and the place from which the artistic expression emanated. He thus arrived at the concept of a national art that he was to defend for the rest of his life....
(b Guernsey, Channel Islands, Feb 28, 1837; d Melbourne, Feb 13, 1918).
Australian photographer of Guernsey birth. After his arrival in South Australia c. 1858, he pursued his interest in photography while working as a hairdresser, becoming a professional photographer in Adelaide in 1867. Economic recession led him to move in 1870 to the neighbouring colony of Victoria, where he worked as hairdresser and photographer in the goldfields settlement of Talbot. By 1871 he was able to open a studio in the larger town of Bendigo, achieving commercial success with carte-de-visite portraits and local views. He had an interest in art, having tried his hand at painting, and became a precursor of Pictorial photography, converting the formally posed group portrait into the conversation piece and producing landscape scenes with human interest genre subjects and picturesque effects to meet a growing nationalistic demand.
To take advantage of his increasing success Caire moved to Melbourne in 1876 to exploit its rapid urban growth as subject-matter, and to use it as a base for forays into the countryside, seeking novel or spectacular subjects. Expansion of the railway system and his adoption of the dry plate process gave him greater mobility, and he was able to photograph increasingly remote localities, culminating in an expedition to Mt Buffalo, in ...
Jan Glier Reeder
French couture house. Established at 24, Rue Thaitbout by three sisters, Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand and Regine Callot Tennyson-Chantrelle. The sisters shared an artistic heritage; their mother was a lacemaker and their father an artist and professor who was descended from the master draftsman and etcher Jacques Callot.
Maison Callot Soeurs rapidly became a principal couture house, along with the other great names of the period such as Jacques(-Antoine) Doucet, Jeanne Paquin, Charles Frederick Worth, Rouff and Raudnitz. By 1900 the sisters were already employing 600 workers and had participated in the Parisian couturiers’ famed first joint fashion display at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. In 1914 they moved address to 9–11, Avenue Matignon and again in 1932, to 41, Avenue Montaigne. In 1917, they opened a London branch at 7 Buckingham Gate. The London branch was closed in 1935 and the business was absorbed into Calvet in ...
Elizabeth Q. Bryan
[Hattie Kanengeiser, Henrietta Köningeiser]
(b Vienna, Austria, Mar 15, 1886; d New York City, Feb 22, 1956)
American fashion designer. Hattie Carnegie was an international tastemaker and fashion entrepreneur. For more than thirty years she presided over a leading New York couture house that offered clients licensed copies of Paris originals as well as ‘Hattie Carnegie Originals’ created by her staff of designers. She also created an empire of retail and wholesale clothing, jewelry, perfume and cosmetics worth over $8 million upon her death in 1956.
Carnegie was born in Vienna, Austria, to parents who immigrated to the United States. Early in her life she adopted the surname of the industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie because of its association with wealth. At the age of 13, upon the death of her father, a tailor in New York’s garment district, she became a messenger for Macy’s department store. The ambitious Carnegie then went to work as a milliner and sales clerk in Greenwich Village for the neighborhood dressmaker Rose Roth. Some details of Carnegie’s career remain ambiguous, even those she provided herself to journalists, but it is generally accepted that by ...
Italian family of jewellers, collectors and writers. The firm founded in Rome by (1) Fortunato Pio Castellani shortly after 1820 and expanded by his sons (2) Alessandro Castellani and (3) Augusto Castellani was foremost in reviving period style in jewellery design. Their reputation was established in Rome by the mid-19th century, and they were renowned as antiquarians as much as jewellers and were consulted by museums in London, Paris and Vienna. After 1860 the Castellani opened shops in Paris and Naples; from 1862 until 1884 they exhibited regularly at international exhibitions, including the International Exhibition of 1862 in London, and their work remained virtually unaffected by subsequent stylistic developments. Designs were closely inspired by, and in some cases reproduced, antique and medieval pieces, often from their own considerable study collection. They were widely imitated throughout England, France, Italy and the USA. Their jewellery is notable for its use of gold; the family perfected processes for simulating the techniques of filigree and granulation used in antique jewellery. A variety of chainwork and hinged pieces with repoussé decoration are characteristic of the firm. Among their most popular designs were pieces ornamented with fine glass mosaic inspired by Byzantine jewellery (e.g. bracelet with white and gold mosaic, ...
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
(b Paris, March 6, 1829; d Paris, Nov 12, 1896).
French sculptor and writer. Born in humble circumstances, he was apprenticed to a jeweller at the age of 11. He subsequently trained with the painter Abel de Pujol (1785–1861) but seems to have taught himself the techniques of sculpture, and at the 1848 Salon he exhibited a plaster sketch of Khair-ed-Din, called Barbarossa (untraced). In 1851, on the advice of his patron, the Comte de Nieuwekerke, he became François Rude’s last pupil. In 1853 he exhibited a plaster group of Queen Hortense and her Son Louis Napoleon (untraced; ex-Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Mus. A.), which brought him a commission from Louis Napoleon, by then Napoleon III, for a marble of the same group (Compiègne, Château); this was exhibited in 1855 at the Exposition Universelle, Paris. During the remaining years of the Second Empire, Chatrousse executed a number of sculptures to decorate public buildings in Paris, such as the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Hôtel de Ville and numerous churches. He exhibited works with religious and historical subjects: some of these, such as ...