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Article

Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

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

Trevor Proudfoot

Material most commonly used as a cheaper alternative to stone. Occasionally, its special properties make it a preferred but more expensive choice to stone. In its simplest form, artificial stone is an ashlar covering for buildings (e.g. 18th-century terraced houses by John Nash). It is found in its most sophisticated form as the component of numerous 19th-century terracotta or cement-based sculptures.

The earliest and simplest form of artificial stone is the lime-and-gypsum plaster used to decorate the walls of Egyptian tombs. These facings were predominantly of gypsum plaster lined and painted to simulate the texture of stone. In ancient Rome, renders (first coats of plaster) had a similar design and purpose, although they were applied to a wider variety of buildings. The incorporation of lime, pozzolana, additives of volcanic ash, sherds of pottery and brick dust strengthened the mortars and gave them greater durability. The renders were often painted to increase the illusion that actual stone was used (...

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

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Valerie Holman

(b Mennecy, Seine-et-Oise, Feb 3, 1895; d Paris, June 6, 1979).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist, ceramicist and tapestry designer. He attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1911, until he joined the army in 1915. After World War I he devoted himself primarily to painting. In 1922 he met Juan Gris with whose encouragement his early Matisse-influenced rhythmical compositions acquired greater stability. In the late 1920s he was promoted by Tériade as a successor to the Cubists, with such works as The Mirror (1929; Paris, Pompidou), in which a highly simplified figure and its mirror-image are defined by patches of flat colour and fragments of linear contrast, and by the 1940s he was seen as one of the major representatives of the Ecole de Paris. In the 1950s his earlier predilection for curvilinear shapes gave way to a more angular and dynamic geometry, as in the First Race (1952; Paris, Pompidou). His subject-matter was taken from daily life, with marked preferences for the nude in movement, as in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

Alastair Laing

(b Paris, Sept 29, 1703; d Paris, May 30, 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline....

Article

Gordon Campbell

English ceramics manufactory (also known as Wilcox and Co.) founded in Leeds in 1858, originally for the manufacture of bricks and building materials. In 1879 the firm began to produce tiles, display pottery and architectural faience; tiles from this period survive in the sumptuous bathroom of Gledhow Hall in Leeds (decorated for the visit of the Prince of Wales, ...

Article

(b Doesburg, Oct 31, 1841; d Laag-Keppel, May 28, 1930).

Dutch decorative artist. He trained as an architect at the firm of L. H. Eberson in Arnhem. From c. 1867 to 1870 he lived in Paris, where he was involved in the preparations for the Exposition Universelle of 1867. After returning to the Netherlands he concentrated increasingly on the applied arts. From 1884 until 1889 he was the artistic director of the Rozenburg delftware factory in The Hague, which was established by W. W. von Gudenberg in 1883. It was not only Colenbrander’s designs of ornamental china that were revolutionary but also the asymmetric, whimsical, but at the same time elegant, decorative patterns, which were applied in bright, transparent colours. His motifs seemed to indicate an awareness of oriental decorations, which he may have seen at Expositions Universelles, although for the most part they were original. After a disagreement with the management, he left Rozenburg in 1889 and spent several years working in different fields within the applied arts, including interior design and textiles....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1857; d 1940).

French potter. As a young man he made architectural ornaments (principally tiles) in a ceramics factory near Beauvais. In 1887 he moved to Paris to assume responsibility for the Haviland studio of Ernest Chaplet; he specialized in stoneware vases with high-temperature flambé glazes, often decorated with Persian motifs. In 1894...

Article

Term used to describe an antiquarian style popular in England from the 1830s to the 1860s, inspired by the Elizabethan style of the 16th century. Designs for Elizabethan-style furniture first appeared in Rudolf Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in 1817, although the style was not widely popular until the 1830s. The English architect most closely identified with the style was Anthony Salvin, who designed Harlaxton Manor, Lincs (1831–8). The entire vocabulary of gables, octagonal turrets, tall chimney-stacks, pinnacles, leaded-paned windows and heraldic ornament was used at Harlaxton, which was based on the Elizabethan E-plan. Salvin’s other notable works in this style include Mamhead (1828–33), Devon, and Scotney Castle (1835–43), Kent. Mentmore Towers (1851–4), Bucks, was designed by Joseph Paxton and George Henry Stokes for Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818–74) and is possibly the most elaborate manifestation of the Elizabethan Revival style....

Article

Hans Ottomeyer

The name derives from the first French Empire under Napoleon I (see Bonaparte family, §1). The dates defining the period of the Empire historically (1804–14) and the duration of the style itself are at variance: the early phase, referred to by contemporaries as ‘le goût antique’, was a late form of Neo-classicism and became more developed as the chaos resulting from the French Revolution subsided c. 1797. The Directoire style and the Consulate style—terms similarly derived from political periods in France—were both part of the development of the Empire style.

The term was originally applied to architecture, but because Napoleon rejected the building of new castles and palaces as wasteful, the style was especially used in interior design and decoration, later being extended to other decorative arts and fashion. There was strong conscious allusion to the civilization of imperial Rome through the building forms and motifs used by the first Roman emperors, who pursued goals of internal peace and a new order together with an expansionist military policy, as did Napoleon. Personal taste and comfort became of secondary importance to the demonstration of wealth and power. The Empire style spread throughout Europe and acquired fresh impetus with the Napoleonic conquests....

Article

Bernadette Nelson

Portuguese ceramics factory. It was founded in the borough of Porto de Mós, near Leiria, in 1770 by the painter and architect José Rodrigues da Silva e Sousa (d 1824). In 1784 the factory received the designation ‘Royal’ and the protection of Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, the 1st Marquês of Pombal. The factory had two very distinct periods of production. During the first 30 years it produced blue-and-white tableware that was influenced in style and decoration by the Real Fábrica do Rato. Many pieces are distinctive for their recurring semi-abstract, leaf-like motifs, shaded in blue or manganese-purple, surrounded by chains of beads. During the second period, under the direction of José Luís Fernandes da Fonseca, wares were decorated with more sober decoration in manganese-purple. Important painters who worked at the factory at this time included João Coelho Pó and Manuel Coelho. Fonseca’s son Bernardino José da Fonseca directed the factory from ...

Article

Damie Stillman

Architectural and decorative arts style that flourished in the USA from shortly after the acknowledgement of independence in the Treaty of Paris (1783) until c. 1820. The term is derived from the period surrounding the creation of the federal constitution in 1787 and was in use in a political sense by that year. Essentially it was a form of Neo-classicism, strongly influenced by manifestations of that style in England and, to a lesser extent, in France; but at times certain more conservative qualities inherited from the previous Colonial period are also present. The inspiration of European, and especially English, Neo-classical architecture was to be expected in a society grounded in that of 18th-century England; but an added impetus was the association often cited at the time between the fledgling American republic and the ancient Roman one.

Although a few indications of European Neo-classical influence are found in the American colonies before the Revolution began in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1855; d 1915).

French architect, interior designer, potter and collector. His Paris workshop undertook interior decoration, furniture design, woodwork and ironwork. He decorated three rooms at the Exposition Universelle of 1900; his floral decoration was in an Art Nouveau style. When his friend Jean(-Joseph-Marie) Carriès died, Hoentschel took over his pottery studio in Montriveau, and thereafter Carriès’s workers produced stoneware that Hoentschel integrated in his furniture. His collections of French art of the 17th and 18th centuries and of Asian art, acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, influenced the style of his own work....

Article

John Steen

(b Rotterdam, April 6, 1861; d The Hague, June 19, 1919).

Dutch ceramicist and architect. He trained as an architect at the Polytechnische School in Delft and practised his profession in The Hague from 1883 until 1893. Between 1894 and 1913 (when he became the alderman for public works of The Hague) he worked at N.V. Haagsche Plateelbakkerij Rozenburg, a delftware factory in The Hague, first as aesthetic adviser, as manager after June 1894 and a year later as general manager. He introduced numerous improvements in the production process. With chemist M. N. Engelen he developed a number of chemical methods to make porcelain, resulting in a wafer-thin product that was a type of eggshell porcelain and that found a variety of ceramic applications. The porcelain was shaped in plaster moulds and biscuit fired at a low temperature. After that the product was painted, glazed and fired at a high temperature. Through Kok’s work the factory became prosperous, but it was forced into liquidation during World War I because of the relaxation of import and export restrictions. Kok was responsible for the choice of his friend H.P. Berlage to become architect of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague....

Article

Dyveke Helsted

(b Frederiksvœrk, Zealand, March 18, 1856; d Tisvilde, Zealand, June 7, 1931).

Danish architect and painter. He received his training as an architect at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. During his training he assisted in the restoration of the Renaissance palaces of Kronborg and Fredriksborg north of Copenhagen. In 1883 production at the Kongelige Porcelaensfabrik (see Copenhagen §3) was revived after it was taken over by the Aluminia Co. The factory was reorganized under the director Philip Schou (1838–1922) who hoped to develop a national style at the factory. Krog was engaged as an artist on a trial basis in October 1884 and as artistic director from January 1885.

Krog’s first attempts at finding a style different from the white, gilded, classical porcelain, embellished with coloured overglazes, that had been the standard ware of the factory, were made with Renaissance patterns and in the manner of wares from the Delft potteries. However, an ‘Immortelle’ plate that had been made at the factory from ...