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Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...

Article

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

Gordon Campbell

(b 1773; d 1855).

American cabinetmaker, active in New York throughout the first half of the 19th century; the principal competitor of his neighbour Duncan Phyfe. Allison’s furniture is characterized by the use of high-quality mahogany and a principled austerity in the use of decoration. His early work is in the Hepplewhite style, and his later work is modelled on Sheraton....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1756; d 1833).

American chair-maker, active in Philadelphia, specializing in Windsor chairs, which were painted or gilded. His relatives (possibly sons) John and Peter Allwine were apprenticed to him. The first family workshop opened on South Front Street in 1791, and the last, on Sassafras Street (now Race Street), closed in 1809, when Lawrence and John migrated to Zanesville, in Muskingum County, OH, they continued to make chairs, and also ran a tavern. Lawrence Allwine is the eponym of the varnish known as ‘Allwine Gloss’....

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Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl c. 1766; d Lisbon, 1814).

Portuguese wood-carver and cabinetmaker. From 1766 he worked uninterruptedly on commissions from the royal family or under their patronage, even after the court had gone into exile in Brazil in 1807. His name is recorded from 1803 in the book of those receiving communion in Rua S Roque in the Encarnação parish where he, like many other wood-carvers, lived or had his workshop. He was licensed as a wood-carver of the Casa do Infantado and later of the royal palaces (1805). When he applied for the latter qualification, he made a list (possibly chronological) of his works prefaced by the statement: ‘As I show here, I have been serving the royal household for thirty-three years’. This key document in Ângelo’s own hand allows a fuller survey of his work than has previously been feasible (Correira Guedes, 1971). Ângelo worked principally in executing the designs of architects of the royal household or the Casa do Infantado, sometimes on his own with complete freedom and responsibility, as in the construction of the tower for fireworks on the occasion of the inauguration (...

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

Monique D. J. M. Teunissen

Dutch company of art dealers and interior design and furniture workshop. The Arts and Crafts interior design and furniture workshop was set up in The Hague in 1893. The Art Nouveau character of the furniture produced by the workshop set it very much apart from its competitors. Designs were produced by the artist Johan Thorn Prikker and the architect Chris Wegerif (1859–1920). During the early years of the workshop the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde exercised a strong influence on its designs. After 1900 the designs became more austere, any Art Nouveau character being confined to woodwork and batik upholstery fabrics. In order to ensure the unity of each interior, an effort was made to have all the objects designed by the same artist. The workshop fostered a close relationship with The Hague school of painting.

F. Netscher: ‘Arts and Crafts’, De Hollandsche Revue (1902), p. 211...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Milton, MA, 1751; d Dorchester Lower Mills, MA, Aug 25, 1815).

American cabinetmaker . His father, also Stephen Badlam (1721–58), was a part-time cabinetmaker and tavern keeper. Orphaned at a young age, Badlam was trained both as a surveyor and as a cabinetmaker. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned as a major in the artillery. He resigned within a year because of illness but after the war was made a general in the Massachusetts militia. On his return to Dorchester Lower Mills, he opened a cabinetmaking shop in his house and became active in civic affairs. He built up a substantial business, which included participation in the thriving coast trade, and even sold furniture through the warehouse of Thomas Seymour in Boston. He also provided turning for other cabinetmakers in the neighbourhood and sold picture-frame materials and window glass. Several chairs in the Federal style with characteristic carved and stopped fluted legs are stamped with his mark, but his fame rests on the monumental mahogany chest-on-chest (...

Article

James D. Kornwolf

(b Ramsgate, Oct 23, 1865; d Brighton, Feb 10, 1945).

English architect, interior designer, garden designer and writer . He was articled to Charles Davis (1827–1902), City Architect of Bath, from 1886 until 1889 but learnt little and was largely self-taught. In 1889 he started his own practice on the Isle of Man, where he built a number of buildings, including his own Red House, Douglas (1893). He was a leading member of the second-generation Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and was among the first to build on the simpler, more abstract and stylized designs of C. F. A. Voysey, a refinement of the ideas of William Morris, Philip Webb, R. Norman Shaw and others from the period 1860–90. From about 1890 until World War I, the Arts and Crafts Movement, as represented by Baillie Scott, Voysey, C. R. Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Parker & Unwin and others, became the most important international force in architecture, interior design, landscape and urban planning. The work of these architects influenced Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann in Austria, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens in Germany, Eliel Saarinen and others in Scandinavia, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene in the USA....

Article

Bernard Jacqué

(b Paris; fl 1861; d Paris, 1898).

French wallpaper manufacturer . He was an apprentice at the Desfossé factory from 1861 to 1863 when he took over the Genoux & Cie factory at 236 Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris, and ran it with his brother until 1868, and then on his own until 1898. Between 1866 and 1869 he began and completed proceedings to take out a patent on stamped wallpapers. He used powerful balanciers, a special type of press that enabled him to produce wallpaper in relief, imitating with unrivalled perfection the very stuff of the materials he copied, such as Cordovan leather or historic textiles from his own collection. Some of his luxury printed and stamped wallpapers were shown in 1873 at the Weltausstellung (‘Universal exhibition’) in Vienna where they attracted a great deal of attention. His career was dogged by financial difficulties. From 1877 he launched a series of court cases against various competitors for unauthorized imitation before committing suicide in ...

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Gordon Campbell

English family of furniture designers and artist-craftsmen. Ernest (1863–1926) and his brother Sidney (1865–1926) worked with Ernest Gimson in the design and construction of furniture in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sidney’s son Edward (1900–87) carried on the business at a shop established in Froxfield (Petersfield, Hants) in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1760; d 1838).

Irish–American cabinetmaker. He was a native of Dublin who trained in London before emigrating in late 1794 to Philadelphia, which was then the capital of America. In 1812 he entered into partnership with his son and advertised his ‘fashionable Cabinet Furniture, superbly finished in the rich Egyptian and Gothic style’. Surviving examples of his furniture are in Neo-classical style, such as the sideboard in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City....

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b New York, 1808; d New York, 1895).

American cabinetmaker. He opened his first cabinetmaking shop in Pearl Street, New York, about 1830. Ten years later he moved to a four-storey ‘furniture warehouse’ on Broadway, near his competitor John Henry Belter, whose work, in particular the laminated rosewood chairs, Baudouine is claimed, perhaps unjustly, to have imitated. Baudouine’s production was huge; he employed up to 200 workers, including 70 cabinetmakers. He favoured the Rococo Revival style based on simplified versions of Louis XV designs and frequently travelled to France to purchase upholstery material, hardware, and trim. He also brought back furniture made in France, which he sold in his shop along with his own stock. Anthony Kimbel (d 1895) was Baudouine’s designer in the years before the shop closed about 1856.

In 1842 William Corcoran, wealthy banker friend of Mrs James K. Polk, ordered 42 carved, rosewood chairs for the State Dining Room in the White House from Baudouine. These balloon-back chairs with cabriole legs upholstered in purple velvet were part of the White House renovation that Congress funded soon after Polk was elected president (side chair, ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1791; d 1859).

French cabinetmaker from Nantes who was working in Paris by 1822. He was appointed cabinetmaker to the king (ébéniste du roi) by Louis-Philippe, and made many splendid pieces (e.g. a bed exhibited in 1827 and now in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris), but under the July Monarchy (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Ger.: ‘folk art furniture’]

The name given in German-speaking countries to furniture made in village workshops from the late 18th century to the early 20th, characteristically painted with folk-art motifs. In America, the tradition is embodied in Pennsylvania Dutch furniture.

A. Kugler: Bauernmöbel (Munich, 1988)S. Seidl: Bauernmöbel der Oberpfalz: Alte bemalte Möbel zwischen Donau und Fichtelgebirge...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1845; d 1908).

American interior decorator and founder of the first tapestry factory in the USA. He worked for Herter Brothers (see Herter, Christian) on the decoration of a series of grand houses, notably William H. Vanderbilt’s house on Fifth Avenue, New York, and William Welsh Harrison’s Grey Towers Castle (now part of Arcadia University) in Philadelphia. When the Vanderbilt house was completed in 1882, Christian Herter returned to Germany and Baumgarten took over the company. In 1891 he started his own company, William Baumgarten and Company, Inc., and in 1893 complemented his interior decoration business with a tapestry factory in his Fifth Avenue premises. He recruited weavers and dyers from the Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory (which had closed in 1890), including five weavers from the Foussadier family. The factory’s tapestries include one at Grey Towers (1898).

A Short Résumé of the History of Tapestry Making in the Past and Present...

Article

Peyton Skipwith

(b London, April 14, 1863; d London, Nov 27, 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

French family of furniture-makers. Pierre-Antoine Bellangé (1758–1827) made furniture for the courts of Napoleon (reg 1804–14), Louis XVIII (reg 1814–24) and Charles X (reg 1824–30). His furniture is characteristically made from mahogany and other dark woods. As part of the reconstruction of the White House in 1817, President James Munroe ordered 53 pieces of furniture from Bellangé: a pier table, two sofas, two bergères, two screens, four upholstered stools, six footstools, 18 armchairs and 18 side chairs. Many of these pieces were dispersed in the auction of 1860. The process of reassembling this collection in the White House was initiated in 1961 by Jacqueline Kennedy (1929–94); the White House now has the pier table, a bergère, a sofa and four armchairs.

Pierre Antoine’s brother, Louis François Bellangé (1759–1827) was also a furniture-maker; furniture that he designed himself is usually decorated with porcelain plaques, but his workshop also used designs by Edmé-Charles Boulle. When the brothers died in ...