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Article

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....

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

Sherban Cantacuzino

(b Lyon, 1867; d New York, May 20, 1942).

French architect, furniture designer and writer. After attending the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, in 1885 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; he left four years later without a diploma, however, to work for a builder as both architect and site craftsman. The influence of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc is evident in his early works, particularly the Ecole du Sacré-Coeur (1895), in which the exposed cast-iron structure of V-shaped columns is an adaptation of a drawing taken from Viollet-le-Duc’s Entretiens sur l’architecture (1863–72). These early commissions, built in a picturesque and eclectic manner, culminated in the Castel Béranger block of flats, Paris, where his first use of the Art Nouveau style appeared in its decorative elements. He visited Brussels in 1895, where he met Victor Horta, whose Maison du Peuple was then under construction. After seeing Horta’s work Guimard made changes to the original neo-Gothic decorative elements of the Castel Béranger, introducing a colourful mixture of facing materials and organically derived embellishments, based on his belief that decoration is the more effective for being non-representational. Between ...

Article

Eric Hennaut

(b Brussels, Jan 7, 1854; d Brussels, March 6, 1936).

Belgian architect and designer. He was the son of a joiner and cabinetmaker and began his career as an interior and furniture designer. His lack of academic training allowed him to join up quickly with the precursors of the Art Nouveau style. In 1895 he exhibited several chairs at the second Salon de la Libre Esthétique; this work followed by the design of a shop in Rue Montagne de la Cour, placed him among the main protagonists of the new style in Brussels. Together with Paul Hankar, Henry Van de Velde and Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, Hobé was commissioned to design the Exposition Congolaise at Tervuren, part of the Exposition Internationale (1897), which became an expression of Belgian Art Nouveau at its peak. During this period, he also undertook a trip abroad and studied traditional cottages in southern England. Their architecture and interiors became his chief source of inspiration, and he built numerous houses in this style in the main holiday resorts of Belgium. The interiors he showed at the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa in Turin (...

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

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1855; d 1931).

American furniture designer and architect, active in England. He worked in the early 1880s for Philip Webb, and thereafter as the chief furniture designer for William Morris §3. His furniture for Morris & Co. in the 1880s and 1890s often uses historical decorative techniques, and is typically decorated with foliage patterns repeated in mirror images and so resembling a Morris textile design (e.g. secrétaire cabinet, ...

Article

Ye. I. Kirichenko

(Nikolayevich)

(b Simbirsk [formerly Ul’yanovsk], Feb 7, 1862; d ?1918).

Russian architect, designer and teacher. He studied at the Institute of Civil Engineers in St Petersburg from 1883 to 1888, and then in 1890 he went to Moscow, where in a brief, 15-year career he went on to execute more than 60 buildings, as well as designing decorative objects for mass production. His first buildings there are examples of late historicism. The Korobkov House on Pyatnitskaya Street and the Geyer Almshouse in Krasnosel’skaya Street, for example, display an eclectic blend of method, have a rich plasticity of volume, a slightly exaggerated sculptural quality in the architectural forms, and appeal to the legacy of Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. From the late 1890s, however, Kekushev began to work in the Russian version of the Art Nouveau style (Rus. modern). He was one of the style’s pioneers in Russia and one of its leading exponents in Moscow, although some features of his earlier historicist works, such as accentuated plasticity, extensive and weighty forms and fidelity to Baroque and Romanesque motifs, continued to appear in his work. This is the case with a series of private residences (...

Article

(b Roermond, Aug 25, 1864; d Amsterdam, April 15, 1932).

Dutch architect, theorist, industrial designer, illustrator and teacher. He grew up in the artistic milieu around P. J. H. Cuypers and probably received most of his artistic education in this environment. Between 1880 and 1887 Lauweriks attended various drawing courses including in 1885–7 those at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers in Amsterdam. In 1889 he became decoration draughtsman in Cuypers’s office. In 1891 he became a member of the architectural society Architectura et Amicitia and from 1893 was editor of the society’s journal Architectura. At the same time, together with his friends and colleagues K. P. C. de Bazel and Herman J. M. Walenkamp, he became involved with ethical–anarchist groups and produced illustrations for Licht en waarheid, the journal of the anarchist group Wie Denkt Overwint (Who thinks conquers).

On 31 May 1894, with de Bazel, Lauweriks joined the Theosophical Society. This brought him into strong conflict with Cuypers. He left the latter’s office in ...

Article

Alan Powers

Stylistic term applied to the revival in the UK in the late 19th century and the 20th of the classical Georgian style of domestic architecture and interior and furniture design from the period 1714–1830. Similar, contemporary revivals of late 18th- and early 19th-century Georgian colonial styles also took place in such countries as the USA and Australia (see Colonial Revival). Neo-Georgian was one of the most popular architectural styles in the UK between 1900 and 1930; it continued to be employed despite the advent of Modernism, and in the 1980s a new phase of popularity began, stimulated by the anti-modernist, eclectic and pluralist trends of Post-modernism.

The origins of the Neo-Georgian style can be found in the 1860s. The house (1860–62; destr.) at 2 Palace Green, Kensington, London, designed for William Makepeace Thackeray by Frederick Hering (1800–69), who drew on Thackeray’s sketches, was an early, isolated example reflecting a literary interest in the 18th century. Another precursor is ...

Article

P. Nigst

(b Vienna, Aug 24, 1876; d Vienna, Nov 15, 1945).

Austrian architect, furniture designer and urban planner. He was the son of a master carpenter and received a thorough training in this craft, later becoming known as one of the ablest furniture producers of his time; an example of his designs is a dining-room chair for the painter Josef Reich (before 1900; see Das Interieur (1900), p. 180). From 1892 to 1896 he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, and thereafter began to practise architecture. He made an early impact with his ideas on architecture published in his article ‘Moderne Möbel’ (1900). His first projects included a series of residential buildings (1901–6) in Döbling, Vienna, and the Luithlen Sanatorium (1907–8, partially destr. 1969; see Der Architekt, xiv (1908), pl. 42) in Josefstadt, Vienna, one of his most important works; it has an unusually simple, unadorned façade for a Viennese building, above which he boldly placed two operating theatres (destr. ...

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Seifhennersdorf, Jan 19, 1874; d Berlin, Aug 17, 1968).

German architect and furniture designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden (1886–94), before moving to Munich, where he studied with Paul Hoecker (1854–1910) and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907), and drew caricatures for the journals Jugend and Simplicissimus, as a colleague of Olaf Gulbransson and Thomas Theodor Heine. With Peter Behrens, Hermann Obrist, Bernhard Pankok, Richard Riemerschmid and others, Paul was a founder-member of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk in Munich, a group dedicated to the production of well-designed furniture and works of decorative art. Paul’s early furniture designs, although aligned to Jugendstil in general concept, resisted the excessive curves and tentacles favoured by contemporary French and Belgian designers. Around 1904 Paul rejected Jugendstil in favour of a rectilinear, Neo-Biedermeier manner. His interiors for a hunting-room (see Günther, pls 58–60) at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and for a study (see Günther, pls 75–8) at the World’s Fair (Louisiana Purchase International Exposition) in St Louis in ...

Article

Jean A. Follett

(b Boston, MA, 1842; d Boston, MA, 1910).

American architect, stained-glass designer, furniture designer, and photographer. Preston was the son of Jonathan Preston (1801–88), a successful builder in Boston. William completed a year’s study at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, MA (later incorporated into Harvard University), and then went to Paris where he enrolled briefly in the Atelier Douillard. He returned to Boston in 1861 to work with his father, with whom he remained in partnership until the latter’s death. William then practised independently until his own death.

Preston was a prolific architect, designing over 740 buildings in the course of a career spanning 50 years. His early work was in the French Renaissance style, as seen in his Boston Society of Natural History building (1861–4), a tripartite structure with its floor levels arranged to equate with the proportions of the base, shaft, and capital of a Classical column. It has monumental Corinthian columns and pilasters and a central pediment flanked by a balustraded parapet. He worked in a typically eclectic manner during the 1870s and became an extremely fine designer in the Queen Anne Revival style in the 1880s and early 1890s. The varied massing, stained-glass windows, terracotta, moulded brick, and carved-wood detail of the John D. Sturtevant House (...

Article

(b Brussels, Aug 31, 1847; d Brussels, Sept 11, 1917).

Belgian architect, designer, engineer, writer and politician. After graduating as an engineer at the University of Ghent in 1870, he established himself in Charleroi before settling in Ghent on his marriage in 1872. Under the influence of Jean-Baptiste-Charles-François Baron Bethune, he worked in the Belgian Gothic Revival style on architecture, furniture and wall paintings and in stained glass, gold, iron and embroidery. From 1875 to 1895 he directed the workshop for stained glass founded by Bethune. Verhaegen’s most important building is the new Beguinage (1873) of Sint Amandsberg near Ghent, which conforms to the severe Gothic Revival ideals of Bethune and anticipates some of the features of garden-city designs. His churches and conventual buildings at Ghent (Poortakker, 1874; St Macharius, 1880–82), Hekelgem (abbey, 1880; church destr.), Paris (Oeuvre des Flamands Church, c. 1875) and Rome (Everlasting Adoration, 1885–6) and châteaux at Watermaal-Bosvoorde (1880–81) and Merelbeke (...