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Daniel Le Couédic

[Hippolyte]

(b Nantes, March 19, 1891; d Paris, Jan 20, 1966).

French architect and teacher. A student of Alfred-Henri Recoura (1864–1939), he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1920. He settled in Paris, and his first works were influenced by Art Deco. In 1923 he became one of the two architects of the new seaside resort of Sables-d’Or-les-Pins (Côtes-du-Nord). There, and in the nearby village of Val-André, Abraham began his analysis and rejection of the picturesque in such buildings as Villa Miramar (1928) and Villa Ramona (1929). In 1929, in partnership with Henry-Jacques Le Même (b 1897), he made his first design for a sanatorium, later executing three examples at Passy (Haute-Savoie), which are among his best works: Roc-de-Fiz (1931), Guébriant (1933) and Geoffroy de Martel de Janville (1939). Two blocks of flats built in Paris in 1931 (at 28 Boulevard Raspail and Square Albinoni) characterize the peak of his production in their precision and sobriety of composition, moderate use of the modernist vocabulary and use of new techniques and materials....

Article

(b Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 3, 1870; d Paris, Aug 14, 1935).

French architect. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Paul-René-Léon Ginain and Louis-Henri-Georges Scellier de Gisors, receiving his architectural diploma in 1892. His early work included S. Bing’s Art Nouveau pavilion (destr.) at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 (inspired by Louis Bonnier’s initial project), blocks of flats in Paris in ashlar work, for example 236–238 Boulevard Raspail, 105 Rue Raymond Poincaré (both 1906) and the corner site of the Avenues du Bois de Boulogne et Malakoff (c. 1908), as well as regionalist constructions (garage in Neuilly and rural buildings in Herqueville and Heilly). He participated regularly in the competitions organized by the City of Paris, building low-cost housing schemes in the Rue Brillat-Savarin (1914–30) and the garden city at Chatenay-Malabry (1920–32) in collaboration with Joseph Bassompierre and Paul de Rutté. Following World War I he was named architect for the reconstruction schemes for the districts of Aisne and Pas-de-Calais....

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

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

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

Marie-Laure Crosnier Leconte

(Oscar)

(b The Hague, 1834; d Jouy-en-Josas, Sept 13, 1907).

French architect of Dutch birth. He moved to France about 1840, when his mother, who was divorced, married the French architect Léon Vaudoyer, who, like her, was a Protestant. In 1868 he adopted French nationality. Bouwens studied architecture (1853–7) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the ateliers of Henri Labrouste and Vaudoyer. Thanks to the influence of his stepfather he then joined the administration of the City of Paris, first as deputy inspector to his stepfather at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers and from 1860 as chief architect for the 16e arrondissement. Through his involvement in the development of Auteuil he gained the confidence of its backer, Baron Erlanger, a businessman of German origin who had made his fortune in France under the Second Empire, and this led to some private commissions. In 1861 Bouwens also married into a German family with connections in international finance. The resulting network of family connections and private patronage enabled him to give up his administrative posts and devote himself entirely to a wealthy and cosmopolitan clientele, many of whose members were Jewish or Protestant, for which he produced work in an eclectic and refined style that was rooted in the Second Empire. This clientele expanded from the financial world to include collectors, authors and foreign aristocrats....

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, Aug 15, 1897; d Lisbon, April 24, 1970).

Portuguese architect. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the Escola de Belas Artes, Lisbon, and early in his career produced one of the most impressive Art Deco buildings in Lisbon, the Eden cinema (1930–31; with Carlos Dias; later altered), Praça dos Restauradores. This building incorporated suggestions of Futurism, notably in the dynamic spatial design and definition of the main entrance and staircase system as well as the volumetric glass façade. He also designed one of the city’s most imaginative Rationalist buildings, the Hotel Vitória (1934, Avenida da Liberdade. He later worked on the Coliseum (1939; with Júlio de Brito and Mário de Abreu) in Rua Passos Manuel, Oporto, another important Modernist building. One of the most talented architects of the early Modern Movement in Portugal, Branco was an unusual figure and a combative personality; his early involvement in left-wing political activity resulted in his increasing professional isolation in the context of the reactionary government (...

Article

Leonard R. Griffin

(b Tunstall, Staffs, Jan 20, 1899; d Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, Oct 23, 1972).

English potter and designer. She left school in 1912 to work as a pottery apprentice at Lingard, Webster & Co. and in 1916 joined A. J. Wilkinson Ltd near Burslem. Noticing her talent for modelling, the director, Colley Shorter (1882–1963), let her work beside his designers and financed her for a two-month course at the Royal College of Art in London in 1927. Inspired by the experience, Cliff persuaded Shorter to let her decorate ware with a small team at the recently acquired Newport Pottery. Wilkinson’s had acquired thousands of pieces of old-fashioned earthenwares from the Newport Pottery, and Cliff’s team hand-painted them with brightly coloured, geometric patterns. Cliff named the ware ‘Bizarre’ in January 1928, and it was a success by October of the same year. She then produced her most famous and popular design, ‘Crocus’, which features flowers between brown and yellow bands. From then, all Cliff’s ware was stamped with: ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

(b Warsaw, 1898; d Mexico, March 18, 1980).

American painter of Polish birth. She lived among the wealthy aristocracy in St Petersburg and fled with her husband from the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1918 she arrived in Paris, where she studied briefly at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse, before studying under Maurice Denis at the Académie Ranson, and then under André Lhote. Lhote’s theories of composition, his insistence on careful figure studies and the precise application of paint, often using pure colour, provided the groundwork for her own style of freely interpreted Synthetic Cubism. This rapidly became identified with Art Deco and with modernity of style and subject-matter. All her paintings were carefully composed. She made little attempt to create three-dimensional effects, but using hard, angular lines and shapes contrasted against rounded, soft forms, she created a highly stylized view of the world, in particular of the sophisticated society of Paris (e.g. Andromède, 1929...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1876; d 1955).

French designer of furniture, glass, metal, ceramics and interiors. He was a pioneering exponent of Art Deco and a detractor of Art Nouveau, which in practice meant that he aspired to a style that was neither historical nor mannered. Dufrène was a founder-member in 1901 of the Société des Artistes-Décorateurs (SAD). He inaugurated a range of furniture in very dark native wood and defended functionalism and the use of mechanical processes and mass production. In ...

Article

(Georges)

(b Millemont, Seine-et-Oise, Nov 23, 1876; d La Seyne, Var, Aug 8, 1938).

French painter. He left school at the age of 11 and worked for an industrial engraver, studying drawing at night classes. He later entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied under Hubert Ponscarme. There he met Charles Despiau, and, to support himself financially, he worked in the studio of Alexandre Charpentier. He first exhibited in 1905 at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris with a number of works in pastels. The following year he travelled extensively around Italy with the American engraver Herbert Lespinasse (b 1884). In 1910 he won the Prix de l’Afrique Nord with a pastel and therefore spent the years from 1910 to 1912 at the Villa Abd El Tif in Algiers, travelling all over the country and absorbing the local culture. His work up to 1910 had been mainly of Parisian theatres and cafés, executed in pastels or occasionally in tempera on canvas. In Algiers he abandoned pastels and began to work in oils, producing a number of brilliantly coloured works such as ...

Article

Anne Winter-Jensen

[Jules, John]

(b Lancy, May 20, 1877; d Paris, June 7, 1947).

French sculptor, metalworker, painter and designer, of Swiss birth. He trained as a sculptor from 1891 to 1896 at the Ecole des Arts Industriels in Geneva and in 1897 was awarded a scholarship by the city of Geneva that enabled him to continue his studies in Paris, where Jean Dampt, a sculptor from Burgundy, introduced him to the idea of producing designs for interior decoration and furnishing. Dunand worked on the winged horses on the bridge of Alexandre III in Paris (in situ), while simultaneously continuing his research into the use of metal in the decorative arts. His first pieces of dinanderie (decorative brassware) were exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts of 1904 in Paris. In 1906 he gave up sculpture in order to devote his time to making dinanderie and later to lacquering. His first vases (e.g. ‘Wisteria’ vase, gilt brass with cloisonné enamels, ...

Article

Jason Tippeconnic Fox

(b Cernauti, Bukovina [now in Ukraine], Jan 2, 1875; d Stamford, CT, March 5, 1954).

American architect of Austro-Hungarian birth. Eberson is noted as an influential specialist in Cinema design, especially “atmospheric” cinemas. He was educated in Dresden and at the College of Technology in Vienna, where he studied electrical engineering. Eberson immigrated to the United States in 1901 and transitioned to architectural design through work with the St. Louis-based Johnston Realty and Construction Company. This led to the establishment of Eberson’s eponymous architectural firm, although sources differ in regard to the precise date and initial location. The main office relocated from Hamilton, OH to Chicago in 1910 and to New York in 1926. In 1928, his son Drew Eberson (1904–89) became a full partner in the firm, which was renamed John and Drew Eberson, Architects.

Eberson’s early theaters such as the Palace (1914) in Minneapolis were predominantly conventional classically inspired designs. However, in 1923 he set himself apart with the completion of his first fully realized “atmospheric” movie palace, the Majestic in Houston. Atmospheric theaters gave audiences the illusion of sitting in a courtyard beneath the twinkling stars and rolling clouds of the night sky. The electronic nocturnal effects were enhanced by sidewalls resembling the picturesque facades of adjoining buildings, lush foliage, stuffed birds, bubbling fountains and statuary. While the open sky effect was not without precedent, Eberson employed it as part of a larger theme, typically Italian or Spanish, which shaped the design of the entire theater....

Article

Alan Powers

(b Audley, Staffs, Dec 23, 1889; d London, Nov 20, 1956).

English architect. He was articled to Chapman and Snape and studied at evening classes at Burslem Art School near Stoke-on-Trent, before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London, in 1911. While working as an assistant to Trehearne and Norman, he met Thomas Tait, whose partnership with J. J. Burnet Emberton he joined after service in World War I. Tait’s style influenced his early work (in partnership with P. J. Westwood (1878–1958), 1922–6). They designed kiosks for the British Empire exhibition at Wembley, London (1924), and Summit House (1925), Red Lion Square, London. Emberton visited the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925 and was one of the earliest English architects to work in the Art Deco style (e.g. shopfronts for Lotus and Delta shoes, c. 1927; see Ind, pl. 38). His unified scheme for the Advertising Exhibition (...

Article

Claire Brisby

(b Paris, July 17, 1877; d Sainte-Maxime, nr St Tropez, 1941).

French designer. He was a leading designer of furniture and interiors in the transition from Art Nouveau to Art Deco before World War I and in the subsequent popularization of the Art Deco style. He was a pupil of Eugène-Samuel Grasset in Paris, and his earliest designs, in the Gothic style, were published in Art et Décoration, the journal of design reform founded in 1887. From 1899 Follot was designing bronzes, jewellery and textiles for La Maison Moderne, the commercial outlet for Art Nouveau objects, and his interior design for a study, shown in 1904 at the first Salon of the Société des Artistes-Décorateurs, of which he was a founder-member, demonstrated his affinity with the prevailing curvilinear characteristics of Art Nouveau. Follot’s design for a study shown at the same Salon in 1909 revealed a change towards simpler, more rectilinear forms inspired by the revival of Neo-classicism, which became characteristic of his style. He employed light woods, ornamented with carved and gilded fruits, garlands and cornucopias (e.g. chair, ...

Article

Paul Crossley

(b Prague, 1879; d Princeton, NJ, Jan 30, 1962).

American art historian. He first trained as an architect but, in his early thirties, he turned to the study of art history and in 1911 submitted his doctoral dissertation at Munich University on 15th-century stained glass in southern Germany. Under the influence of his teacher, Heinrich Wölfflin, Frankl soon attempted a systematic definition of the formal principles underlying Renaissance and post-Renaissance architecture. His first theoretical work, Die Entwicklungsphasen der neueren Baukunst (1914), was strongly influenced by the visual formalism and philosophical idealism of German art history in the decades before World War I. It isolated four main categories of analysis, which were fundamental to much of his later investigations: spatial composition, treatment of mass and surface (‘corporeal form’), treatment of light, colour and other optical effects (‘visible form’), and the relation of design to social function (‘purposive intention’). His emphasis on spatial analysis as a determinant of style relied heavily on August Schmarsow’s works on Baroque and Rococo architecture. His concept of ‘visible form’ (sometimes called ‘optical form’), which presupposes that viewers derive their experience of a building kinetically, as the mental synthesis of many images from different viewpoints, owed much to late 19th-century theories of perception, in particular to Konrad Fiedler’s and Adolf von Hildebrand’s emphasis on the physiological and psychological processes of seeing, and to Alois Riegl’s notion of ‘haptic’ and ‘optic’ forms. Frankl’s principal debt, however, lay in his adoption of Wölfflin’s quasi-Hegelian model of style as a predetermined, supra-individual force, impelled onwards by its own immanent laws, and evolving from one art-historical period to another through the action and counter-action of ‘polar opposites’: the underlying formal principles of a style are diametrically antithetical to those of the styles preceding and succeeding it....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Vienna, Oct 14, 1886; d Los Angeles, 1958).

American furniture designer, born in Austria. He emigrated to the USA in 1914 and worked first in New York and later in Los Angeles. His most famous work is his ‘skyscraper’ furniture, which first appeared in 1926; many pieces were maple, and inlaid with Bakelite (e.g. skyscraper bookcase, 1927; New York, Met.). Frankl later specialized in metal furniture and in Art Deco furniture decorated with black lacquers and gold and silver leaf....

Article

Hervé Paindaveine

(b Brussels, April 7, 1877; d Brussels, Feb 22, 1956).

Belgian interior designer and architect. He was the son of the painter Adolphe Hamesse (1849–1925) and studied architecture at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He then worked successively in the offices of Paul Hankar and Alban Chambon. With the latter he found his true vocation in interior design using numerous ornamental components, manufactured industrially, which he excelled at combining in Art Nouveau compositions. Assisted by his two brothers, the painters Georges Hamesse (b 1874) and Léon Hamesse (b 1883), he responded to the eclectic tastes of the period by exploiting a very broad range of styles in such commissions as the Cohn-Donnay house (1904), the Ameke department store (1905), a masonic lodge (1909) and the Théâtre des Variétés (1909), all in Brussels. He also worked on a number of cinemas in Brussels, including the Artistic Palace (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1883; d 1935).

Basque–French cartoonist, interior decorator and designer, notably of furniture but also of wallpaper, textiles and jewellery. His early work is in an Art Nouveau idiom, but he gradually became a pioneering exponent of Art Deco. Pierre(-Emile) Legrain was initially his employee and later his collaborator. In 1914 Inbe moved to America, where he worked as a set designer, and in ...