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Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

Article

John Steen

(Hendrik)

(b Borger, Feb 11, 1900; d Drachten, Jan 30, 1984).

Dutch painter and printmaker. He trained between 1919 and 1923 as a cabinetmaker, taking evening classes in furniture drawing and design at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. He also took private drawing lessons with the Dutch sculptor Willem Valk (1898–1977). Around 1920 he started to make drawings and paintings in an abstracted, geometric style, similar to that of Bart van der Leck (e.g. En passant, 1921–2; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 17). From 1924 he worked in the architectural firm of Van Lingen in Groningen, and he continued to design furniture until the 1930s. He joined De Ploeg and started to mix with Dutch artists such as Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink (1885–1971) and Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman. He produced geometric abstract works such as Composition with Yellow Circles (1924; Groningen, Groninger Mus.). From c. 1924 he began to associate with the Belgian Constructivists involved in the magazine ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Tel Aviv, 1951).

Israeli designer, active in Britain. In 1981 Arad founded, with Caroline Thorman, One Off Ltd, a design studio, workshops and showroom in Covent Garden, London. In 1989, again with Caroline Thorman, he founded Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in Chalk Farm. In 1994 he established the Ron Arad Studio in Como (Italy). His most famous design is the Rover Chair, which recycled used Rover car seats. He has long had an interest in the use of steel, and the Bookwork bookshelves (...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...

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

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

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

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

Gabriele Ramsauer

(b Pöls, March 17, 1907; d Salzburg, Oct 16, 1982).

Austrian potter and stuccoist. She studied at the Österreichische Bundeslehranstalt für das Baufach und Kunstgewerbe in Graz from 1922 until 1926, where she attended the sculpture classes of Wilhelm Gösser and the ceramic classes of Hans Adametz. In 1926 she became an assistant in the ceramic design section of the Wiener Werkstätte under Josef Hoffmann and from 1930 to 1936 she worked for several ceramic workshops in Vienna. During this time she worked with the architect Clemens Holzmeister and created the stucco ceiling in the Ataturk Palace (1931), in Ankara, Turkey. From 1936 to 1944 Baudisch stayed in Berlin where she made the stucco decoration for the Italian Embassy and also large figural sculptures. In 1940 she married her second husband, businessman Karl Heinz Wittke, who later managed the business side of the Keramik Hallstatt, which Baudisch founded in 1946. While creating her own work in this studio, from ...

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

(b London, Oct 17, 1854; d Manorbier, Dyfed, July 5, 1924).

English designer. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. c. 1890; London, V&A). These items were displayed in S. Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Paris, and were used in the Morris & Co. interiors at Wightwick Manor, W. Midlands (NT), and Standen, East Grinstead, W. Sussex. Many of Benson’s designs were patented, including those for jacketed vessels, which keep hot or cold liquids at a constant temperature, and for a ‘Colander’ teapot with a button mechanism for raising the tea leaves after the tea has infused. Benson sold his designs, labelled ‘Art Metal’, through his showroom on Bond Street, which opened in ...

Article

(Gustav)

(b Norrköping, May 10, 1879; d Stockholm, April 22, 1935).

Swedish architect and designer. After studies at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan and the Kungliga Akademien för de fria Konsterna in Stockholm (1897–1903), he travelled in Europe and became acquainted with modernist architecture in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. He participated in the architectural debate both as a teacher and as the editor of the Arkitektur (1912–16), and he joined the opposition to academic training when with Ragnar Östberg, Ivar Tengbom and others he started the Klara School, a free studio, for a group of young architects, which included Gunnar Asplund, Sigura Lewerentz and Osvald Almqvist. Bergsten’s early works show the influence of Joseph Maria Olbrich, for example Olai Primary School (1908), the Lithografen Printing Co. (1911) and the Scandinavian Bank building (1906–8), all in Norrköping. These buildings combine structural as well as decorative use of concrete with dark brickwork, in expressive and heavily massed volumes. Bergsten contrasted symmetry with asymmetry, and his preference for displaced or angled motifs sometimes created eccentric effects. In Hjorhagen Church (...

Article

Alan Powers

(Percy)

(b London, April 8, 1881; d London, April 15, 1939).

English designer. His early life was divided between the stage and the sea. He was a theatre designer in London and New York, and his stage career continued after World War I service and his survival of the sinking of the Lusitania. In 1924 he was Consultant Artistic and Technical Director of the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, London, designing murals and restaurant interiors, as well as presentations in the Government Theatre (‘Attack on Zeebrugge’) and the Admiralty Theatre (‘Air attack on London’). He is chiefly remembered for his design work for J. Lyons & Co., the London hotel and catering firm. Bernard’s displays of marble, glass and chromium plate were dazzling but inexpensive. For the Tottenham Court Road Corner House (1926), London, he made an inlaid marble decoration of Niagara Falls, now covered over. The entrance to the Strand Palace Hotel (1930–31; dismantled, parts in London, V&A) was one of London’s few Art Deco extravaganzas. Bernard also had a lively interest in the Modern Movement, assisting in ...

Article

Athena S. E. Leoussi

(b Villefranche, Rhône, 1872; d Paris, 1909).

French designer and lithographer. He began his training in Villefranche, where he studied painting, and in 1893 he moved to Paris, entering the Ecole Normale d’Enseignement du Dessin. There he became a pupil and disciple of Eugène-Samuel Grasset, the Professor of Decorative Arts, and was also influenced by Luc Olivier Merson. Berthon’s main output consisted of posters and decorative panels. However, he also produced bookbindings and furniture designs, both of which he exhibited at the Salon in 1895; designs for ceramics for Villeroy & Boch in the late 1890s; and a few designs for the covers of such magazines as L’Image (July 1897) and Poster (May 1899). His work is in an Art Nouveau style, and he adopted that movement’s plant and figural motifs, especially the motif of the femme fatale, and also its long sinuous lines. These features can be seen in such works as the poster ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b San Lorenzo, nr Reggio di Calabria, March 10, 1915; d Barto, PA, Nov 6, 1978).

American sculptor and furniture designer of Italian birth. After settling in the USA in 1930, he studied at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit (1936), and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI (1937–9), where he taught metalworking and produced abstract silver jewellery and colour monoprints. In 1943 he moved to California to assist in the development of the first of a series of chairs designed by Charles O. Eames. His first sculptures date from the late 1940s. In 1950 he established himself in Bally, PA, where he designed the Bertoia chair (1952), several forms of which were marketed by Knoll International. His furniture is characterized by the use of moulded and welded wire; in the case of the Bertoia chair, the chromium-plated steel wire is reshaped by the weight of the sitter. Bertoia also worked on small sculptures, directly forged or welded bronzes. The first of his many large architectural sculptures was a screen commissioned in ...

Article

French family of cabinetmakers, antique dealers and collectors. The dynasty was founded by Jean Beurdeley (1772–1853), who, after service in Napoleon’s armies, opened a small antique shop in the Marais district of Paris and in 1830 bought the Pavillon de Hanovre, 28 Boulevard des Italiens, which was the Beurdeley firm’s principal gallery until 1894. His son (Louis-Auguste-) Alfred Beurdeley (1808–82) dealt in antiques and works of art and was also a cabinetmaker specializing in reproductions of 17th- and 18th-century furniture. His clients included Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie. Alfred Beurdeley’s illegitimate son (Emmanuel-) Alfred Beurdeley (b Paris, 11 Aug 1847; d Paris, 20 Nov 1919) took over the gallery and workshops in 1875 and until 1894 concentrated on making luxury furniture, continuing the models sold by his father. He was one of the most important Parisian cabinetmakers, winning a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in ...

Article

Christian Norberg-Schulz

Norwegian architectural and furniture design partnership formed in 1922 by Gudolf Blakstad (b Gjerpen, 19 May 1893; d Oslo, 1986) and Herman Munthe-Kaas (b Christiania [now Oslo], 25 May 1890; d Oslo, 5 March 1970). Blakstad was awarded his diploma as an architect at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim in 1916. He collaborated with Jens Dunker on the New Theatre, Oslo, from 1919 to 1929. After a preliminary training in Christiania, Munthe-Kaas finished his education at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1919.

From the beginning of their careers Blakstad and Munthe-Kaas played a leading role in Norwegian architecture. After studying in Italy in the early 1920s, they advocated Neo-classicism in architectural projects, furniture designs and writings. In 1922 they won the competition for the new Town Hall in Haugesund (1924–31), a major work of 20th-century Norwegian Neo-classicism. Above a powerfully rusticated basement, the long office wing with its regular fenestration contrasts with the higher City Council Hall, accentuated by pairs of monumental, free-standing columns. In general the effect is of robust strength and an exciting interplay of horizontals and verticals....

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

Anna Rowland

(Lajos)

(b Pécs, May 21, 1902; d New York, July 1, 1981).

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (1897–1972). Breuer soon became an outstanding student in the carpentry workshop, which he led in its endeavours to find radically innovative forms for modern furniture. In practice, this meant rejecting traditional forms, which were considered symbolic of bourgeois life. The results of these experiments were initially as idiosyncratic as those of other workshops at Weimar, including the adoption of non-Western forms, for example the African chair (1921; see Rowland, 1990, p. 66) and an aggressively castellated style inspired by Constructivism.

Breuer was impressed by De Stijl, whose founder Theo van Doesburg made his presence felt in Weimar in ...