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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

Gordon Campbell

(b Boston, MA, July 10, 1868; d La Mesa, CA, Jan 25, 1962).

American book-illustrator and designer of posters, typefaces and furniture. In 1893 Bradley began designing for Vogue magazine. He subsequently worked for Ladies’ Home Journal, and in 1901–2 published an influential series of eight articles on ‘The Bradley House’; the designs in these articles (and another three in 1905) seem not to have been implemented, but they nonetheless exerted a seminal influence on public taste and on subsequent furniture design; his designs for pianos were used by Chickering & Sons of Boston. Bradley also designed two series of plates for Royal Doulton: ‘Golfers’ (...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...

Article

Klaus Lankheit

(Johann)

(b ?April 9, 1691; d Mannheim, Jan 11, 1752).

German sculptor, stuccoist, draughtsman and illustrator. He was the most important sculptor active in Franconia and the Palatinate in the first half of the 18th century; nevertheless, although his very individual late Baroque sculpture, mostly carved in wood, was highly regarded by his contemporaries, he was quickly forgotten after his death. His rich oeuvre was severely depleted, particularly as a result of World War II. It was only after that date that his importance was reassessed. Egell probably served an apprenticeship with the Würzburg sculptor Balthasar Esterbauer (1672–1722) and collaborated on the interior decoration of the Banz monastery. His first documented work is an expressive Crucifix made in 1716 for St Michael’s Monastery in Bamberg (now in St Otto, Bamberg). His stylistic development was affected by his work between 1716–17 and 1719 as one of the team directed by Balthasar Permoser, which made all the sculptural decorations at the Zwinger in Dresden for ...

Article

(b Frankenstein nr Breslau [now Wroclaw], Dec 15, 1868; d Munich, 1940).

German painter, illustrator and interior designer. He studied at the Kunstschule in Breslau under the German painter Albrecht Bräuer (1830–97), and later at the Pinakothek in Munich, absorbing the work of the Old Masters. He continued his training in Paris at the Académie Julian (1892–4), and established a studio in Munich (1895). With other non-academic painters of the period he rejected the influence of the French Impressionists and allied with the Symbolist painters of the late 19th century. He drew inspiration from wild places and as a young man travelled to the Baltic Sea and to the Riviera and Brittany coasts. He was fascinated by Norse legends, Grimms’ fairy tales and Johann Gottfried Herder’s Stimmen der Völker, all of which had an impact on his subject-matter. His early paintings of bucolic landscapes with figures were executed in flat, calm colours with well-defined outlines, reminiscent of the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In a long, prolific career he designed costumes and stage sets, stained glass, ceramics and bookbindings....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

(Nightingale)

(b London, March 25, 1929; d Brightwell Baldwin, March 29, 1998).

English designer. He was educated at Charterhouse School, Surrey, and studied painting, illustration, typography, and stage design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. He served in the British Army Educational Corps (1949–51), then travelled in Europe for a year, pursuing a keen interest in architecture and interiors. In 1953 he redecorated his mother’s London house, a photograph of which was published and led to several similar commissions, and established his own design studio in London. In 1955 he formed a partnership with an English antiques dealer, Tom Parr (1930–2015), and together they ran Hicks & Parr, a small decorating and antiques shop in Chelsea. Among their early successful projects were the redecoration of the residences of Sir Rex and Lady Benson, Frederick and Mary Ponsonby, 10th Earl and Countess of Bessborough, and President Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. In 1959 Hicks set up independently as David Hicks Ltd, then as David Hicks Associates, and later David Hicks International Marketing, with branch offices in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Pakistan, and Australia. During the 1960s Hicks became one of the most fashionable decorators in Britain, noted for his eclectic tastes, use of strong colours, and designs for geometric-patterned carpets and textiles, inspired by the work of Matisse and Edouard Vuillard. His employment of wall-to-wall carpeting in geometric-repeat motifs, together with his mix-and-match furnishing fabrics, became widely popular. He supplied designs to some 500 furnishing fabric and carpet manufacturers in North America and Britain during the 1960s and 1970s. He decorated the private apartments (...

Article

Sjarel Ex

(b Budapest, Jan 5, 1884; d Hierden, nr Harderwijk, Sept 8, 1960).

Hungarian painter, decorative artist, typographer and writer, active in the Netherlands. He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Budapest from 1901 to 1903, and then at the academy in Munich (1904). For a short period he was a member of the artists’ colonies of Tecsö and Nagybánya in Hungary, before moving to The Hague in 1906 as a portrait painter to the local aristocracy. Huszár’s interest in the work of van Gogh and in modern developments in Paris and London gradually led him from portraits and landscapes in bright colours, such as Reclining Female (1913; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller), to an abstract style in painting and stained glass influenced by Cubism and Futurism; an example of this is Vincent (1915; Amsterdam, J. P. Smid priv. col.)

In 1916 Huszár met Theo van Doesburg, who admired his work and was influenced by his stained-glass windows. In 1917...

Article

John Mawer

(b Bodiam, E. Sussex, Feb 17, 1849; d London, Aug 21, 1930).

English designer. He was educated at Marlborough College and New College, Oxford, where he studied drawing under John Ruskin. Although he took Holy Orders in 1873, he continued to practise as a designer and eventually gave up his clerical duties in 1882, the year in which Arthur Mackmurdo founded the Century Guild of Artists, London. In 1883 Mackmurdo and Image opened the Century Guild Workshops. Image painted panels and inscriptions and designed inlaid decoration for furniture made by the Guild and also produced the title-page woodcut for its magazine The Hobby Horse, first published in 1884, which he co-edited from 1886 to 1892. The Guild itself was dissolved in 1888. He undertook design commissions in several fields—stained glass, typography, mosaic and embroidery (for the Royal School of Needlework). He also became active within the Art Workers’ Guild, London, of which he became master in 1900. In the same year he began working for the Glasgow furniture manufacturers ...

Article

Kari Horowicz

(b Budapest, July 13, 1896; d Warwick, NY, May 26, 1981).

Hungarian illustrator and designer, active also in the USA. Karasz studied at the Royal School of Arts and Crafts in Budapest. Her prolific career encompassed a wide range of media, including illustration and designs for textiles, ceramics, silver, furniture, interior and wallpaper, at all of which she excelled and won awards. Her work was inspired by European design, particularly work by artists at the Wiener Werkstättte. In 1913 she moved to the USA, where she taught at the Modern Art School in Greenwich Village, New York. She quickly became involved in the artistic life of Greenwich Village and provided numerous illustrations for a variety of arts and literature publications including Modern Art Collector, Bruno’s Weekly and Playboy: A Portfolio of Art and Satire. Later, in the 1920s, Karasz’s work was included within or as cover art for The Liberator, The Masses, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country and Vanity Fair. Karasz is most famous for her work at ...

Article

(b Kiskorpád, June 3, 1884; d Budapest, Nov 26, 1948).

Hungarian architect, interior and furniture designer, and graphic artist. He studied at the Budapest Imperial Joseph College (diploma 1906) and joined the Fiatalok (‘Young ones’) group, which travelled around Transylvania and Hungary studying vernacular architecture. Dominating his early designs (e.g. the fantasy house ‘Lapis Refugii’, 1908) is a luxuriant Secessionist style relying on Hungarian folk-art motifs. After a study trip to Paris (1909–10) he worked at Béla Lajta’s architectural studio in Budapest (1910–13), designing the interior of the Rózsavőlgyi music store in Szervita Square (1911–12; destr. 1961). The interior space was separated by transparent, vertical screens, while the carved-wood ornamentation was in a stylized version of Biedermeier. In 1913 Kozma organized the Budapest Workshop on the same lines as the Wiener Werkstätte, to produce furniture, domestic textiles and utility goods, and designs for entire apartment and office spaces (see Hungary, Republic of §V 4....

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Yiannis, Giannis]

(b Arta, April 23, 1916; d Athens, Dec 20, 2009).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and decorative artist. From 1931 to 1936 he studied painting and printmaking at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens under Konstantinos Parthenis and Yannis Kefallinos (1893–1957). As soon as he graduated he participated in the exhibition of Greek printmakers that was organized in Czechoslovakia in 1936. The same year, on a scholarship from the Academy of Athens, he went to Rome and then to Paris to study at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole des Arts et Métiers. He returned to Athens in 1940, when he participated in the last pre-war panhellenic exhibition, in which he was awarded the first prize. During the period of the German occupation (1941–4) he started painting portraits to earn his living. In these his restricted palette and the opposition of light and shadow with as little half-tone as possible reveal his concern with the flattening of form and space. His post-war canvases are painted with a directness of execution and solidly modelled forms. His concern with the structure of form led him gradually to geometrical compositions. In ...

Article

Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....

Article

Katalin Gellér

(b Németbánya, May 18, 1869; d Gödöllő, March 14, 1950).

Hungarian painter, draughtsman, designer and illustrator. He studied at the school of design drawing, Mintarajziskola, Budapest, under Bertalan Székely. In 1890 he travelled to Rome on a two-year scholarship, where he met the Hungarian painters Ferenc Szoldatics and Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch. From 1892 he attended the Académie Julian in Paris and in 1900 returned to Hungary, settling in Veszprém. From 1907 he worked at the Gödöllő colony with his wife, the artist Laura Kriesch, the sister of Körösfői-Kriesch. Nagy’s works are characterized by a zeal for experimentation, particularly with materials and techniques. He was especially concerned with the edifying role of art for the individual and society. He was influenced by Ruskin and Tolstoy and also by anarchism. His works of art incorporate a mystical symbolism, while some designs use a Secessionist style incorporating elements of Hungarian folklore.

In his early drawings and paintings Nagy sought to represent the road to moral and spiritual purification (e.g. ...

Article

John F. Pile

(b New York, 1894; d New York, June 16, 1944).

American industrial designer. He learnt cabinetmaking in his father’s shop in the Bronx, New York, and then worked as an illustrator of furniture for several New York retail shops. In 1927 he made a trip to Paris and there saw examples of the modernism known subsequently as Art Deco. On his return to America he undertook freelance interior design projects and made custom-built modern furniture for private clients (e.g. end table, c. 1927–9; Rohde family priv. col., see 1981 exh. cat., fig.). In 1929 he opened a design office in New York, concentrating on interior design and developing furniture in the early modernist style. In 1930 he established a relationship with Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland, MI, a firm that had previously made products imitating various traditional styles. Rohde convinced the firm of the superiority of the ideas of modernism at a time when this direction was virtually unknown in the USA; he developed an extensive line of furniture that combined functional ideas and simplicity of form with decorative details that were characteristically ‘modernistic’. Exotic woods, glass, mirrors and polished metals were used in groups of furniture that were modular or sectional in concept (e.g. dressing-table, ...

Article

Paul Louis Bentel

(b Vienna, 1872; d New York, July 10, 1933).

American architect, stage designer, interior designer and illustrator of Austrian birth. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Karl Hasenauer. Urban first received recognition as an architect in the USA in 1904 when his design for the interior of the Austrian Pavilion at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, was awarded a Gold Medal. He subsequently established himself in Europe as a stage designer; in 1911 he emigrated to the USA to assume a position as set designer with the Boston Opera Company.

After the completion of the Ziegfield Theater (1922), New York, Urban solidified his reputation as an architect with unexecuted proposals for several large theatres. For the Metropolitan Opera House, intended as the focal point of the first schemes for the Rockefeller Center (1926–8), he proposed a semi-circular seating arrangement, to which he added galleries that projected from the proscenium into the seating area to break down the separation between audience and stage. In ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

Italian designers, active in the USA. Massimo Vignelli (b Milan, 10 Jan 1931; d New York, 27 May 2014) attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (1948–50); the Politecnico, Milan (1950–53); and the School of Architecture, University of Venice (1953–7). He chiefly worked on product and graphic design and corporate identity programmes. In the mid-1950s, while still a student, he designed a series of lighting fixtures for the Venini S.p.A. of Murano, most notably the ‘Fungo’ table lamp (1955; e.g. New York, Cooper-Hewitt Mus.), an original concept in striped glass in which the swelling lampshade and conical base form an integrated unit.

Between 1957 and 1960 he travelled and studied in the USA. In 1957 he married Lella [Elena] Vignelli [née Valle] (b Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 1936). She studied at the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (...

Article

Sjarel Ex

(b Zaandijk, May 28, 1885; d Wassenaar, Sept 27, 1977).

Dutch designer and typographer . After working in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement, he came into contact in 1917 with De Stijl, which fundamentally changed the course of his work. Through Vilmos Huszár and Jan Wils, he met H. P. Berlage, for whom he worked as a draughtsman, and international artists working in typographic design, such as Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitsky and Jan Tschichold. His international importance is based on typographical works, such as those he made between 1923 and 1930 for NKF, the Dutch cable works, and for PTT, the Dutch postal service. His advertisements, inspired by Dada, often used a wide range of typography and could be read as messages, poems or advertising slogans, while being appreciated simply as designs. Zwart was also active as an interior designer; his most successful work in this field was the kitchen (1938) that he designed for the ...