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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

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

John Christian

(Coley)

(b Birmingham, Aug 28, 1833; d London, June 17, 1898).

English painter and decorative artist. He was the leading figure in the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His paintings of subjects from medieval legend and Classical mythology and his designs for stained glass, tapestry and many other media played an important part in the Aesthetic Movement and the history of international Symbolism.

He was the only surviving child of Edward Richard Jones, who ran a small carving and gilding business in the centre of Birmingham, and Elizabeth Coley, the daughter of a prosperous jeweller. Christened Edward Coley Burne Jones, he was called simply Edward Jones until c. 1860 when he adopted the surname Burne-Jones. From an early age he drew prolifically but with little guidance and no intention of becoming an artist. In 1844 he entered the local grammar school, King Edward’s, destined for a career in engineering. It was probably in this connection that in 1848 he attended evening classes at the Birmingham School of Design. By the time he left school in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Flensburg, March 6, 1866; d Wiesbaden, Jan 5, 1945).

German designer. After an early career as an interior designer he turned to the design of tapestries (subsequently woven at the Scherbeker Kunstgewerbeschule), porcelain (table wares), drinking glasses (for the Theresienthaler Kristallglasfabrik) and silver cutlery. After 1914 he worked primarily as a painter and writer.

M. Zimmermann-Degen and H. Christiansen...

Article

Joellen Secondo

(b Peckham Rye, London, Jan 29, 1845; d London, April 18, 1910).

English designer and writer. He was educated in France and Germany, but his interest in design was provided by visits to the South Kensington Museum, London (now the Victoria & Albert Museum). In 1865 he entered the office of Lavers & Barraud, glass painters and designers. Some time later he became keeper of cartoons at Clayton & Bell and by 1870 had joined Heaton, Butler & Bayne, for whom he worked on the decoration of Eaton Hall, Ches. In late 1880 Day started his own business designing textiles, wallpapers, stained glass, embroidery, carpets, tiles, pottery, furniture, silver, jewellery and book covers. He designed tiles for Maw & Co. and Pilkington’s Tile and Pottery Co., stained glass and wallpaper for W. B. Simpson & Co., wallpapers for Jeffrey & Co. and textiles for Turnbull & Stockdale where he was made Art Director in 1881.

Day was a founder-member and Secretary of the ...

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

John Mawer

(b Bodiam, E. Sussex, Feb 17, 1849; d London, Aug 21, 1930).

English designer. He was educated at Marlborough College and New College, Oxford, where he studied drawing under John Ruskin. Although he took Holy Orders in 1873, he continued to practise as a designer and eventually gave up his clerical duties in 1882, the year in which Arthur Mackmurdo founded the Century Guild of Artists, London. In 1883 Mackmurdo and Image opened the Century Guild Workshops. Image painted panels and inscriptions and designed inlaid decoration for furniture made by the Guild and also produced the title-page woodcut for its magazine The Hobby Horse, first published in 1884, which he co-edited from 1886 to 1892. The Guild itself was dissolved in 1888. He undertook design commissions in several fields—stained glass, typography, mosaic and embroidery (for the Royal School of Needlework). He also became active within the Art Workers’ Guild, London, of which he became master in 1900. In the same year he began working for the Glasgow furniture manufacturers ...

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

Article

[Christiaan]

(b Amsterdam, May 26, 1878; d Dachau, April 2, 1945).

Dutch painter, designer and applied artist. He trained in design and decorative painting at the Quellinus school and the Rijksschool voor Kunstnijverheid (National School of the Applied Arts) in Amsterdam from 1892 to 1899. He was assigned to assist with the decoration of the Dutch pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. A number of his designs for the pavilion were executed in batik, a Javanese technique that had been recently introduced in the Netherlands. In subsequent years Lebeau developed a very personal approach to batiking and within a short time became the leading Dutch artist in this field. His batiked screens in particular were widely acclaimed (examples in Assen, Prov. Mus. Drenthe) and are considered masterpieces of Dutch Jugendstil.

Lebeau is one of the most important representatives of the severe, geometrical trend in Dutch applied arts of the early 20th century. From 1903 he designed damask tablecloths and household linen for the ...

Article

Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....