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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

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

Courtney Gerber

[Dicker, Friederike]

(b Vienna, July 30, 1898; d Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oct 9, 1944).

Austrian designer, painter, teacher and political activist. The only child of Simon Dicker and Karolina Fanta, she studied photography with Johannes Beckmann in Vienna at the Graphische Lehr- unde Versuchsanstalt in 1914. She mastered the medium within two years, but found its expressive potential limiting and did not pursue it further. In 1915 Dicker-Brandeis enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna as a student of painter Franz Cižek. In 1916 she transferred to Johannes Itten’s private school in Vienna where she engaged with Itten’s unconventional teaching methods, which focused on unearthing one’s creative powers through meditation, colour theory and interpreting the rhythmic and formal language of art while allowing them to converge. She decided to leave Vienna in 1919 so that she could continue working with Itten who had been offered a post at the Bauhaus School in Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis remained at the Bauhaus until 1923, training in the textile, printing, painting, sculpture and stage design workshops. Her instructors included such artists as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. An exemplary student, after her first year she was asked to teach Itten’s Basic Course for the school’s new students. While at the Bauhaus Dicker-Brandeis created a myriad of works ranging from fine art works on paper to children’s toys. The mixed-media composition ...

Article

(b Doetinchem, bapt Nov 16, 1738; d Osterholt, nr Kampen, bur Jan 11, 1796).

Dutch architect, teacher, stuccoist and sculptor. He moved to Amsterdam at a young age, possibly with the help of his uncles Hans Jacob Husly and Hendrik Husly (both fl c. 1730–70), who were stuccoists in that city, and he probably trained as a stuccoist in their studio. In 1758 he co-founded an art appreciation society and in 1765 the Amsterdam Academy of Drawing, which, in the absence of an academy of fine art in the city, played an important educational role during the Neo-classical period. He was a director of the academy, where he presented lectures, for example on the use of architecture in painting, which were later printed. He also taught architecture and organized the library. He probably travelled to Paris in 1768, where he is thought to have familiarized himself with contemporary French ideas on architecture. One of his earliest works is the Town Hall (1772...

Article

William Garner

(fl 1752–61; d Dublin, 1790).

Irish stuccoist. He is a typical example of the many plasterers working in Dublin during the mid-18th century whose work remains largely unidentified. In 1752 he was described as a plasterer when admitted as a freeman of the City of Dublin. In 1756 he was paid £534 for ‘plaistering and stucco’ in the city’s Rotunda Hospital, where it is thought he decorated the staircase ceiling. In 1761 he worked at 9 Cavendish Row and at 4 and 5 Parnell Square, three houses built by Bartholomew Mosse (1712–59), Master Builder of the Rotunda.

West is variously described in legal documents as plasterer, Master Builder and merchant, and it is known that he developed property in Lower Dominick Street, Granby Row, Great Denmark Street and City Quay. He built 20 Lower Dominick Street before 1758, and the ceilings there can be attributed to him. Various motifs in the hall—serrated acanthus in high relief and birds holding flowers—are also to be found in the staircase hall of 56 St Stephen’s Green. This latter work is crowded and crudely modelled, though the ceiling of Lower Dominick Street’s hall is one of the most daringly conceived and freely modelled Rococo ceilings in Dublin. Here, trophies of musical instruments, caryatids and birds standing on pedestals are close in treatment to those in the Rotunda Chapel. At Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh, the dining-room ceiling is similar to that in the back drawing-room of 9 Cavendish Row, with its flat acanthus set within robust rectangular mouldings. Although West is popularly associated with the bird motifs found in Dublin Rococo plasterwork, few are actually to be found in the houses where he is known to have worked. Nothing by West can be dated later than ...