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Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....


David Walker

(b Glasgow, March 31, 1857; d Colinton, Edinburgh, July 2, 1938).

Scottish architect. The son of the Glasgow architect John Burnet (1814–1900), he was a Beaux-Arts-trained classicist who became a modernist. Encouraged by R. Phené Spiers (1838–1916) to study at the Atelier Jean-Louis Pascal, Paris, during his time there (1875–7) he formed life-long friendships with Pascal and Henri-Paul Nénot. The first building wholly to his design was the Glasgow Fine Art Institute (1878–80, destr.), followed by the Clyde Navigation Trust (1883), Robertson Street, Glasgow, the Edinburgh International Exhibition building and the Glasgow Athenaeum, St George’s Place (both 1886). All four were pure Beaux-Arts designs in which sculpture played an important role, the first two being Greco-Renaissance, the third a variant of the design by Léopold Hardy (1829-94) for the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris, and the fourth a highly simplified Roman.

In 1886 another Pascal pupil, John Archibald Campbell (...


Jordi Oliveras

(b Barcelona, Dec 27, 1849; d Barcelona, Dec 27, 1923).

Spanish Catalan architect, professor, historian, and politician. He is considered one of the protagonists of Catalan architectural Modernism, which is characterized by the doctrine of Rationalism, and which contrasted with the more expressionist Modernism headed by Gaudí. His essay ‘En busca de una arquitectura nacional’ in the magazine La Renaixença (Feb 1878) proposed the renewal of tradition and upheld the authenticity of architecture from a rational point of view. One of his first works was a building for the Editorial Montaner y Simón (1880) in Barcelona. For the Exposición International (1888), Barcelona, he built the Hotel Internacional (destr.) and the Café-Restaurante del Parque de la Ciudadela (now the Museu de Zoologia), a building that demonstrates two of his signature qualities: his rationalist concern and his predilection for brick. It was here, after the exhibition, that he and some other artists set up a workshop for architecture-related arts, in line with the Modernist ideal of artistic integration. Such integration is evident in the Instituto Pere Mata (...


Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...


Peter Blundell Jones

(b Schweinfurt, May 28, 1862; d Munich, Dec 25, 1938).

German architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Munich, before working for Paul Wallot on the Reichstag in Berlin (1884–94). On returning to Munich, he worked for Gabriel von Seidl and started his own practice. In 1893 Fischer was appointed head of the new planning office in Munich, shaping the developing outskirts of the city and erecting his first public buildings, a series of schools influential throughout Germany, for example a school at Elisabethplatz, Munich (1902–4). He resigned in 1901 to devote time to his expanding practice and to teaching, first at the Technische Hochschule, Stuttgart, and in 1908 at the Technische Hochschule, Munich, where he was the first to teach city planning. He was a founder-member of the Deutscher Werkbund in 1907, serving as its first president, and he designed the central hall at the group’s exhibition in Cologne in 1914. Between ...


Asko Salokorpi

(b Asikkala, nr Lahti, June 4, 1876; d Helsinki, March 2, 1956).

Finnish architect and writer. He became known as an aggressive opponent of the National Romantic style in architecture, which had begun as a reform movement, taking its inspiration from the English Arts and Crafts Movement. In Finland, however, where its most important representatives were Eliel Saarinen and Lars Sonck, the movement’s picturesque and romantic manifestations achieved great popularity. In 1904 Frosterus made his famous attack on romanticism with Gustaf Strengell, with whom he also collaborated on some building projects. In connection with the competitions for the railway stations for Helsinki and Viipuri, the friends published a number of newspaper articles, collected into a pamphlet and furnished with handsome typography, which held that romantic architecture was at its worst and most anachronistic in designs for station buildings that were clearly ‘modern’ design tasks. Saarinen, who won both competitions, suffered their bitterest criticism but was persuaded to take a serious interest in Rationalist architecture, a change that had a lasting and, it is generally held, positive, effect on his work. Frosterus participated in both competitions with progressive and handsome projects. However, the jury thought them ‘imported’ and did not award them prizes. Frosterus had indeed worked on his entries while in ...


Gilles Ragot

(b Lyon, Aug 13, 1869; d La Bédoule, Jan 19, 1948).

French architect, urban planner and writer. Regarded as a precursor of the Modern Movement in France, paradoxically he was absent from the debates that enlivened architectural and urban-planning circles between World Wars I and II. He built only c. 15 works, all in the area around Lyon. A winner of the Grand Prix de Rome and recognized by his profession, he was regularly published in architectural reviews. His fame and influence on the Modern Movement in the 1920s and 1930s was due to a theoretical project for a Cité industrielle, sent from Rome while he was a pensionnaire at the Villa Medici. This project was so rich, as much in its city plan (inspired by the site of Lyon) as architecturally, that it had a profound influence on a whole generation of architects led by Le Corbusier and served as an inexhaustible model for Garnier himself, for almost all his future activities....


Richard Longstreth


(b Tully, NY, April 26, 1870; d Carlsbad, CA, Oct 7, 1936).

American architect. The son of a building contractor, he was trained in Chicago in the offices of the architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Adler & Sullivan. Health considerations prompted his move to San Diego in 1893. Establishing an independent practice there, Gill remained in southern California for the rest of his life. Most of his commissions were for houses, apartment complexes, and institutional buildings in residential districts.

Much of Gill’s early work follows popularized conventions for American middle-class suburbs; it is commodious, efficient and picturesque but seldom inspired. He produced more distinctive work after 1900 as a result of pursuing the rustic simplicity advocated by proponents of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sizeable dwellings such as the Marston House, San Diego (1904), possess a clear, purposeful order in their composition and detail. On the other hand, modest dwellings such as the Cossitt House, San Diego (1906), are often imbued with a studied casualness....


Gudrun Schmidt

(b Remscheid, May 18, 1810; d Düsseldorf, Dec 16, 1853).

German painter. His artistic talent was recognized in 1827, while he was at school in Düsseldorf. The same year he embarked on a course in architecture at the Akademie in Düsseldorf. In 1828 he turned to the study of history painting. After a difference of opinion over the theory of art with the Director of the Akademie, Wilhelm von Schadow, Hasenclever went home to Remscheid. There he taught himself portrait painting. An example of his work from this period is the portrait of Gertraude Scharff (1832–3; Remscheid, Dt. Werkzeugmus. & Heimatmus.). From 1832 to 1838 Hasenclever again studied at the Akademie in Düsseldorf in a painting class taught by Ferdinand Theodor Hildebrandt (1804–74). In portraits and humorous genre paintings Hasenclever found a field suited to his gifts. Pithy commentaries on the everyday life of the lower middle classes are present in all of Hasenclever’s work. He was best known for subjects such as wine-tastings and cellar scenes, and he also made a series of ...


N. Mens

(b Rotterdam, May 10, 1864; d Voorburg, June 21, 1940).

Dutch architect and teacher. After studying in the 1880s at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague, he worked as an independent architect in Amsterdam from 1890. Shortage of commissions led him to concentrate initially on competition entries, in which he developed his drawing skills. Although he has been categorized as belonging to Art Nouveau, he challenged this style for relegating the architect to the position of designer. His architectural approach was based on what he called ‘the moulding of cubic masses’, for which he regarded brick as the most effective material. His first large commission was the American Hotel (1899–1902), Amsterdam, largely inspired in its decorative additions by Islamic architecture. The elaborate, projecting dormer windows, and minaret-like turret, embody his concept of moulding in brick. His competition design (1905–6; unexecuted) for the Vredesplein in The Hague made even greater use of Islamic motifs. In the same period he was also engaged in the organization of the architectural profession in the Netherlands. He took the initiative in founding an architectural cooperative representative body, which led to the establishment in ...


Yehuda Safran

(b Brünn [now Brno], Moravia, Dec 10, 1870; d Kalksburg, Austria, Aug 23, 1933).

Austrian architect, theorist and writer. He was an often satirical critic of the Vienna Secession, an early advocate of the Functionalist aesthetic, a radical polemicist and one of the most important and influential pioneers of the Modern Movement, achieving in his buildings of c. 1910 the style generally adopted elsewhere only a decade later.

His father had studied painting but worked as a sculptor and mason in Brünn, then an important industrial centre of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and early contact with his father’s workshop probably influenced Loos’s choice of career as well as his understanding of and respect for natural materials. In 1887 he obtained a bricklayer’s certificate, in 1887–8 he studied at the Gewerbeschule in Reichenberg and he eventually completed a building engineering course at the Gewerbeschule in Brünn. He then decided to train as an architect and in 1889 attended the Technische Hochschule, Dresden. His course was interrupted by army service and a period at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna; he returned to Dresden (...


Rhys W. Williams

(b Pesitza, Austria–Hungary, June 10, 1867; d Vevey, Switzerland, June 5, 1935).

German art historian. He studied engineering in Munich, Zurich and Liège, before moving to Berlin in 1890, where he attended the university and became involved in artistic circles. In 1894 he co-founded the periodical Pan, becoming its art editor and financial manager, though he was dismissed in April 1895 by wealthy and conservative patrons unhappy with the emphasis given to French art, after publication of the first issue. He moved in 1895 to Paris, where he had already met avant-garde artists, and in 1898 founded the periodical Dekorative Kunst, in which he championed Art Nouveau; he opened an Art Nouveau gallery, La Maison Moderne, in Paris in 1899, which closed in 1903. Returning to Berlin in 1904, he published his most significant contribution to art history, Die Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst, in which he was concerned to define the specifically artistic (‘das Bildhafte’) in isolation from socio-economic or historical factors, to trace its development in the 19th century, and to offer a basis for a new aesthetic: 19th-century painting from Delacroix to the Post-Impressionists was presented as a series of solutions to formal problems. In further controversial essays on Arnold Böcklin and Adolf Friedrich Erdmann Menzel, Meier-Graefe questioned prevailing academic and nationalistic judgements. Subsequently he published studies devoted to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Courbet, and to the French Impressionists. His ...


Julius Posener

(b Grossneuhaus, April 20, 1861; d Berlin, Oct 26, 1927).

German architect, architectural historian, theorist and critic. He worked with Ende & Böckmann, one of the leading architectural firms in Berlin, who employed him in Tokyo (1887–91), where he designed a Gothic Revival German church. On his return to Germany he joined the Ministry of Public Works and was appointed technical attaché (1896–1903) to the German Embassy in London. In England he studied the work of the English country-house architects from about 1870: the earlier figures, Philip Webb and R. Norman Shaw, and his own contemporaries C. F. A. Voysey, Edwin Lutyens and W. R. Lethaby. He published several accounts of his investigations of English architectural culture, most notably the three-volume Das englische Haus (Berlin, 1904–05). This detailed study, which considers the house, and architecture in general, as an expression of the society of which it is a part, expressed Muthesius’s enthusiasm for England and his belief that the immediate future belonged to this style of building. It was much admired in England, but its effect in Germany was to provoke controversy; even in the 1920s a copy was still kept locked away from students of the Technische Hochschule, Berlin. Although keen to promote an awareness of the functional and practical in architecture, Muthesius did not go so far as to see the form of a house as merely the result of fulfilling functional needs. He never denied that the architect was an artist, motivated by the desire to give a convincing visual expression. Indeed his admiration went to artistically minded architects, such as Lutyens and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who became a close friend, rather than to the more severely rational, such as Voysey....


(b Troppau, Silesia [now Opava, Czech Republic], Dec 22, 1867; d Düsseldorf, Aug 8, 1908).

Austrian architect and designer, active also in Germany. During a brief career of little more than a decade, he produced highly influential work that typified the formal freedoms emerging from the anti-historicist movement in fin-de-siècle Vienna and pointed the way to Expressionism and Neues Bauen (see Modern Movement). In 1881 he enrolled in the building department of the Staatsgewerbeschule, Vienna, where he studied under Camillo Sitte; but he returned to Troppau in 1886 to gain practical experience working for a local builder. He then went back to Vienna in 1890 to complete his education at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. A brilliant draughtsman, he won many prizes as a student, including the Rome prize in 1893, the last year of tenure at the Akademie of Karl Hasenauer, one of the creators of Vienna’s Ringstrasse and a guardian of the great historicist tradition in the late 19th century. Olbrich travelled to Italy and North Africa before returning to Vienna in ...


Donna Corbin

(b Münster, May 16, 1872; d Baierbrunn, Upper Bavaria, April 5, 1943).

German designer, architect, sculptor and painter. He was the son of a cabinetmaker and studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1889–91) and in Berlin (1891–2) before settling in Munich in 1892. Working as a portrait painter and graphic designer, he contributed illustrations to a number of periodicals including Pan (from 1895) and Jugend (from 1896). His earliest furniture designs were a chair and mirror shown at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich in 1897. In the following year he was commissioned by F. A. O. Krüger (b 1868), one of the founder-members of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk, Munich, to produce designs for the workshop. Like other designers of the Vereinigte Werkstätten, such as Richard Riemerschmid, Peter Behrens or Bruno Paul, Pankok produced designs in a variety of media, although his designs for furniture are probably his most original. His early furniture designs are characterized by a certain heaviness and ‘organic’ look, recalling the work of Antoni Gaudí and representing the more expressionistic, less functional, aspect of ...


Michael Spens

(b Berlin, April 30, 1869; d Berlin, June 14, 1936).

German architect, designer and teacher. He was the father-figure of the Expressionist group of the Deutscher Werkbund, his vision and practical genius representing a link between the English Arts and Crafts Movement and later stages of Jugendstil and the fervour of the emerging Modern Movement after World War I. Poelzig studied architecture (1889–94) at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin, under Carl Schäfer, a neo-Gothicist. After military service and a period in the Prussian Office of Works, he left Berlin in 1900 to take a teaching post in the Königliche Kunst- und Kunstgewerbeschule, Breslau (now Wrocław), becoming its director from 1903 to 1916. There he introduced workshop-based courses that influenced the later teaching policy of Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus. Poelzig’s early buildings included two houses, one at an exhibition of applied art (1904) in Breslau and his own house (1906) at Leerbeutel, near Breslau. Both are examples of the influence in Germany at that time of English Arts and Crafts houses. Rough-cast rendering divided into rectilinear panels by smooth bands characterized his own house and also appeared in his evangelical church (...


Anne van Loo

(b Brussels, Dec 9, 1873; d Brussels, Feb 9, 1980).

Belgian architect, teacher and designer. He was the son of a jeweller from Brussels and trained in precious metalwork at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels before taking drawing courses at the Gewerbliche Fortbildungsschule (1890–91) and the Kunstgewerblicheschule, Munich. He began work as a goldsmith, later working with master ironworkers (1893–6) and builder–foundrymen (1897–8). In 1899 he became a draughtsman for the architect Adrien Delpy (d 1949) in Brussels, then until 1903 he worked in Georges Hobé’s decorative arts and cabinet work studio. In 1904 he went into partnership with the architect Adhémar Lenner; together they won a restricted competition (1908) for the Palace Hotel in Brussels, for which he also designed the furniture.

In 1910, at the age of 37, Pompe created his first individual work of architecture: Dr Van Neck’s orthopaedic clinic in Brussels, a rationalist building in which Pompe went beyond the previous limits of Art Nouveau. The building’s internal organization is expressed in its façade, notably by the use of glass blocks that illuminate the great gymnasium, and three projecting vertical ventilation shafts rest on the metal lintels of the ground-floor bays to emphasize their non-structural character. Of all 20th-century buildings in Belgium, this is probably the one that best expressed an original direction for architecture, in which craft and industry would find their respective places. In its form as much as in its innovative programme, this building was such a sensation that Pompe became a figurehead for the young modernist generation. However, his desire to combine technical rationality and constructional logic with a romantic, emotional expression always separated him from this group....


Donna Corbin

(b Munich, June 20, 1868; d Munich, April 13, 1957).

German designer, architect and painter. The son of a textile manufacturer, he studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Munich (1888–90); he painted primarily at the beginning and end of his career, and he was a member of the Munich Secession. In 1895 Riemerschmid designed his first furniture, in a neo-Gothic style, for his and his wife’s flat on Hildegardstrasse in Munich. In 1897 he exhibited furniture and paintings at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich. Immediately following the exhibition, the committee members of the decorative arts section, including Riemerschmid and Hermann Obrist, founded the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk. In 1898 Riemerschmid was commissioned to design a music room for the Munich piano manufacturer J. Mayer & Co., which was subsequently exhibited at the Deutsche Kunstausstellung exhibition in Dresden in 1899. The armchair and side chair, with its diagonal bracing, designed for this room, are some of his most original and best-known designs. In ...


Maurice Culot


(b Rouen, May 10, 1873; d Paris, March 1932).

French architect. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1890 and became part of a progressive circle that included Louis Majorelle, Charles Plumet and Francis Jourdain; Jourdain’s father, Frantz, was to give Sauvage constant support. Sauvage’s marriage in 1898 to Marie-Louise Charpentier, the daughter of the sculptor Alexandre Charpentier, was proof of his integration into Art Nouveau circles. From 1900 he worked in association with Charles Sarazin (1873–1950), whom he had met at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Both produced large numbers of applied art designs: designs for goldwork and for furniture, and a considerable number for interior decoration. In 1898 they designed two salons for the Café de Paris (reconstruction in Paris, Carnavalet). In the same year they also worked on the Villa Majorelle in Nancy, a complete work of art resulting from collaboration with Charpentier, Frantz Jourdain and Majorelle, and from 1899 to 1913...


Rosemarie Hopfner

[Friedrich] (Wilhelm)

(b Bremen, Nov 4, 1869; d Hamburg, Nov 5, 1947).

German architect, urban planner and writer. He was born into an old-established family of merchants. His childhood and early youth were spent in Bogotá and New York. Although he first studied mathematics and science (1889–96) in Munich and Berlin, he gradually applied himself to studying architecture. His teacher Friedrich von Thiersch placed it in a historicizing style. From 1896 until 1901 he was an architect at the Stadtbauamt in Leipzig under Hugo Licht. He was involved in the construction of the town hall, the St Johanniskirche and the rebuilding of the town library. In this period he went on long study trips to Paris, Rome, London, the Netherlands and Belgium. He was a regular collaborator on the journals Dekorative Kunst and Kunstwart.

In 1901 Schumacher was appointed to the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. He read about interior architecture, the stylistics of arts and crafts, the morphology of Classical architecture and taught freehand and decorative drawing for engineers and architects. In ...