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Article

Allan Doig

Group of Expressionist architects and craftsworkers active mainly in Amsterdam from c. 1915 to c. 1930. The term was first used in 1916 by Jan Gratama in an article in a Festschrift for H. P. Berlage. From 1918 the group was loosely centred around the periodical Wendingen (1918–31). They were closely involved in attempts to provide architectural solutions for the social and economic problems in Amsterdam during this period.

The acute need for improved housing stock in the Netherlands was greatest in Amsterdam (see Amsterdam §II 5.), where the population had more than doubled (reaching half a million) during the last quarter of the 19th century. A growing number of housing associations were founded, and the standard of the dwellings produced under their auspices was enormously improved by the implementation of Amsterdam’s first building code in 1905. The greatest need, but the least profits, were to be found in the provision of good housing for the lowest-income groups. Legislation, subsidies and large-scale council ownership of the land scheduled for development allowed close governmental control, with a minimum of speculation by developers. Responsibility for the overall urban plan for the area known as Amsterdam South was given to ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

(b Karlsruhe, April 12, 1883; d Darmstadt, Feb 20, 1959).

German architect and writer. Bartning studied at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe and at the Technische Hochschule and the University in Berlin. In 1905 he established a practice in Berlin. By 1918 he had received c. 50 commissions, but he only began to publish his work after World War I. The upheavals of the period prompted him to propose the spatial and stylistic reorganization of German Protestant church building as a means of restoring social harmony. His book, On New Church Buildings, appeared in 1919 and spurred a revolution in German sacred architecture. During the 1920s Bartning joined the Novembergruppe, the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, and Der Ring, the principal German avant-garde artistic and architectural groups. His most interesting contribution to the brief period of German Expressionism was the Sternkirche project (1922). The centralized church is surmounted by a roof of layered concrete shells that are supported by a thicket of columns, intended as a reinterpretation of Gothic construction....

Article

Christian Lenz

(b Leipzig, Feb 12, 1884; d New York, Dec 27, 1950).

German painter, draughtsman, printmaker and teacher. He was one of the most important German painters of the 20th century. He was initially influenced by traditional styles, but during World War I he rejected perspective and classical proportion in favour of a more expressive objective art. He was persecuted by the Nazis in the 1930s but continued to work, painting his celebrated secular triptychs in the late 1930s and the 1940s.

Beckmann showed artistic promise from an early age, painting as early as c. 1898 a Self-portrait with Soap Bubbles (mixed media on cardboard; priv. col.; see Lackner, 1991, p. 10). After training at the Kunstschule in Weimar (1900–03), he studied under the patronage of Julius Meier-Graefe in Paris. There he became acquainted with the works of the Impressionists, Cézanne, van Gogh and probably such early French paintings as the Avignon Pietà. From 1903 until the outbreak of World War I he lived mostly in or near Berlin. He began painting landscapes and from ...

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

Claudia Bölling

(b Stettin [now Szczecin, Poland], April 17, 1870; d Baden-Baden, Jan 22, 1947).

German architect and urban planner. At the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin, he was greatly influenced by his teacher, Carl Schäfer. Schäfer was a fervent supporter of Gothic architecture, which he saw as the true expression of construction. Emphasis on construction became an important feature of Berg’s architecture. Under the urban planner Franz Adickes (1846–1915), from Frankfurt am Main, who introduced zoning into planning, he became familiar with the problems of urban planning and politics. In 1909 he became a senior building official in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), a post that he held until 1925. Hans Poelzig was head of the Königliche Kunst- und Kunstgewerbeschule in Breslau, and he and Berg had studied together at Charlottenburg and collaborated on a number of projects in Breslau. Berg’s reputation is based on his works in Breslau. One of his most important works is the Jahrhunderthalle (1911–13), part of a large complex designed for the centenary celebrations of the War of Liberation (...

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Feb 21, 1856; d The Hague, Aug 12, 1934).

Dutch architect, urban planner, designer and writer. He abandoned early his intention to become a painter and instead trained in architecture at the Bauschule of the Eidgenössiche Polytechnikum (now Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zurich under Gottfried Semper’s followers. Semper was a major influence on Berlage, especially for Berlage’s emphatic use of a variety of materials and an acute attention to construction. The other major influence was the work of Viollet-le-Duc. After his training Berlage visited Germany and Italy from 1878 to 1881, returning to Amsterdam to become an associate of the classicist architect and businessman Theodorus Sanders, who very soon handed over to him the task of designing. The shop and office-block for Focke & Meltzer (1884–5), Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, was critically acclaimed for its correct application of the Venetian Renaissance style favoured by Semper and for the grandeur of its shopping area, with its unusually large windows. Berlage voiced doubts in ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Písek, Oct 13, 1880; d Karlovy Vary, July 6, 1956).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Technical University, Prague, and later at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, under Otto Wagner. In 1911, together with Josef Gočár, Pavel Janák, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and others, he founded the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture. He subsequently became one of the leading exponents of Czech Cubism in architecture, which concentrated on the sculptural articulation of façades with abstract, prismatic forms. He designed four houses (1911–13; for illustration) below Vyšehrad Hill in Prague with faceted façades that are among the best examples of Czech Cubism. At about the same time, however, he produced drawings for austere, geometric, undecorated façades that anticipated the later development of Czech Purism. Buildings he designed in the Purist style included an office building (1920–21) in Jindřišska Street and a building (1923–5) for the ...

Article

Paul Vogt and Ita Heinze-Greenberg

International movement in art and architecture, which flourished between c. 1905 and c. 1920, especially in Germany. It also extended to literature, music, dance and theatre. The term was originally applied more widely to various avant-garde movements: for example it was adopted as an alternative to the use of ‘Post-Impressionism’ by Roger Fry in exhibitions in London in 1910 and 1912. It was also used contemporaneously in Scandinavia and Germany, being gradually confined to the specific groups of artists and architects to which it is now applied.

Expressionism in the fine arts developed from the Symbolist and expressive trends in European art at the end of the 19th century. The period of ‘classical Expressionism’ began in 1905, with the foundation of the group Brücke, Die, and ended c. 1920. Although in part an artistic reaction both to academic art and to Impressionism, the movement should be understood as a form of ‘new ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Semín, nr Pardubice, March 13, 1880; d Jičín, Sept 10, 1945).

Czech architect, designer, urban planner and teacher. In 1906 he completed his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, under Jan Kotěra, in whose studio he worked until 1908. His earliest work was strikingly modern and rationalist in style, revealing a purity of expression in the use of reinforced concrete; for example the Wenke Department Store (1909–10), Jaroměř, was designed with a skeleton structure on which a lightweight, fully glazed wall was suspended to form the façade. In 1911, with Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Pavel Janák and others, he became a founder-member of the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture; a year later he and Janák founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture, and from 1914 he was a member of the Architects’ Club. Influenced by Janák, Gočár adopted the prismatic surface forms of ...

Article

Gilbert Herbert

(Adolf Georg)

(b Berlin, May 18, 1883; d Boston, MA, July 5, 1969).

American architect, industrial designer and teacher of German birth. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of the Modern Movement, whose contribution lay as much in his work as theoretician and teacher as it did in his innovative architecture. The important buildings and projects in Gropius’s career—the early factories, the Bauhaus complex at Dessau (1925–6), the Totaltheater project for Berlin, the housing estates and prefabricated dwellings—were all more than immediate answers to specific problems. Rather, they were a series of researches in which he sought prototypical solutions that would offer universal applicability. They were also didactic in purpose—concrete demonstrations, manifestos, of his theories and beliefs. His theories sought to integrate the individual and society, art and industry, form and function and the part with the whole. He left Germany for England in 1934; three years later he emigrated to the USA, where he continued to teach, write and design for the rest of his life....

Article

Kathleen James

(b Hörde, May 4, 1874; d Interlaken, 1949).

German architect and sculptor. As a youth he worked as a stonecutter. In 1897 he enrolled as a sculpture student in the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. In 1900 he went to Paris and stayed there for seven years. He was initially influenced by the work of Rodin but later looked to archaic Greek sculpture. In 1905 he participated in the first Salon d’Automne and in 1907 he returned to Germany. He became a member of the artists’ colony in Darmstadt in 1911. The colony transformed the Mathildenhöhe, a ducal estate, into a display of Art Nouveau architecture and design. His contribution was a set of sculptures (1912–14) in the grove of plane trees planted in the park’s main terrace, which stood in front of the Wedding Tower and Exhibition Hall, built by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1908. The sculptures include a fountain decorated with four reliefs entitled Sleep, Resurrection, Life and Spring. At the end of the terrace his sculpture of a dying mother and her child, a classically inspired grouping, looks back at the tower. Elsewhere in the grove, friezes of standing and crouching nude youths hint at the beginning of his appreciation of German Expressionism, the movement with which most of his architecture is associated. Their self-consciously awkward forms suit their folkloric themes....

Article

(b Bekenreihe, Holstein, June 12, 1877; d Bad Segeberg, June 21, 1949).

German architect. He was the son of a carpenter and himself served an apprenticeship as a carpenter (1895–6) before attending the Baugewerkschule, Hamburg (1897–9). From 1901 to 1905 he worked in the architectural practice of Lund & Kallmorgen in Hamburg, and from c. 1905 to c. 1907 he worked for the building firm of his father-in-law Fritz Oldenburg. Höger absorbed the North German building traditions, particularly of brickwork, which had been characteristic of the area since the Middle Ages. He also felt an affinity with the Gothic, which he expressed by trying to create a 20th-century Gothic architecture, without actually imitating Gothic forms.

Having established an independent practice in Hamburg (1907), Höger’s first buildings exemplified the prevailing style of late historicism, particularly the brick-built office blocks in Mönckebergstrasse, Hamburg, such as the Klöppnerhaus (1913), which was decorated with August Gaul’s bronze Mercury...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, March 12, 1882; d Prague, Aug 1, 1956).

Czech architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied under Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek, and from 1906 to 1907 he was a student of Otto Wagner at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. In 1908 he worked in Jan Kotěra’s studio in Prague. His early work was influenced by the modernism of Wagner and Kotěra, but he perceived a danger of uniformity in a purely rationalist approach to architecture. In 1911, together with Josef Chochol, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka, Otto Gutfreund and others, he founded the Group of Fine Artists, which sought a more artistic approach to architecture, and in 1912 he and Gočár founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture. Within the Group of Fine Artists, Janák developed the principles of Czech Cubism...

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1884; d Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1923).

Dutch architect and furniture designer. He left secondary school before completing his final exams to work in the studio of Eduard Cuypers. There he met P. L. Kramer, who later became his friend and collaborator. De Klerk remained in Cuypers’s studio from 1898 to 1910, apart from a brief trip to London in 1906; during this period he also attended an evening course at the Industrieschool van de Maatschappij voor den Werkenden Stand. Both his employer and his teachers were sympathetic to the principles of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, and de Klerk was influenced by contemporary British architects, such as M. H. Baillie Scott. Study of the rural architecture of Denmark and Sweden is also apparent in his designs and woodwork. From these various sources de Klerk forged a highly personal style.

After returning to Amsterdam, de Klerk worked for a short time in various building firms. A notable commission from this period is the luxury block of flats on the Johannes Vermeerplein (...

Article

Otakar Máčel

(b Amsterdam, July 1, 1881; d Amsterdam, Feb 4, 1961).

Dutch architect and furniture designer. A son of an Amsterdam doctor, he did not have the usual formal training but attended evening classes at the Industrieschool in Amsterdam. Between 1903 and 1911 he worked in Eduard Cuypers’s office in Amsterdam, with a short interruption in 1906 when he assisted the Belgian architect Georges Hobé on a project at Namur. In Cuypers’s office he met Michel de Klerk and J. M. van der Meij, and with them he later formed the vanguard of the Amsterdam school. Kramer’s first commission as an independent architect was the building (1911–13; destr. 1940) for Minder Marinepersoneel (Minor marines) in Den Helder. This contained all the elements of his later work: asymmetrical planning, expressionist composition of masses and brick ornamentation. He was also involved with the design of the Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping house) (1912–16) in Amsterdam, which is regarded as the Amsterdam school’s manifesto; the main scheme was by ...

Article

Vladimír Šlapeta

(b Kouřim, Bohemia [now Czech Republic], April 24, 1883; d Prague, Feb 10, 1960).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Czech Technical University, Prague, and became a founder-member and leading representative of the Architects’ Club (1913), which brought together the modernist graduates of the University. Kysela spent most of his career working in the construction office of the city of Prague. After an initial interest in Czech Cubism, seen in his U Klíčů house (1914), Lesser Town, Prague, and in Rondocubism, he moved first to the rationalist use of bare brickwork, as in his power station (1923) at Vinohrady, Prague, and finally to Constructivism. The modular system of a reinforced-concrete skeleton enabled him to simplify both the plan and the façade and to use a suspended glass envelope. He applied these principles to the first large-scale modern commercial buildings in Prague’s main centre, Wenceslas Square: the Lindt Department Store and Café (1924–6), the Baťa Department Store (...

Article

(b Delfshaven, Aug 19, 1878; d Geulle, June 24, 1949).

Dutch architect. After attending technical school he worked in several architectural offices. In 1897 he joined the office of Eduard Cuypers in Amsterdam, where Michel de Klerk and P. L. Kramer were already working. In 1906 he won the Prix de Rome, which enabled him to travel in Europe. Between 1911 and 1919 he was aesthetics adviser to the Board of Works and Public Buildings of Amsterdam. In 1912 he commenced his major work, the Scheepvaarthuis, the head offices in Amsterdam of six Dutch shipping companies. This building was the earliest realization of the aims of the Amsterdam school to integrate architecture and decoration. A reinforced concrete structure designed by A. D. N. van Gendt and J. G. van Gendt, it is clothed in a skin of terracotta and ornamental brickwork. The extravagant decoration marks an important change in the thinking of Dutch architects, since this was a clear attempt to solve the duality of loadbearing and non-loadbearing elements, with the structure hidden behind the ornamental façade. Van der Meij was assisted by ...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Allenstein [now Olsztyn, Poland], March 21, 1887; d San Francisco, Sept 15, 1953).

German architect, teacher, and writer, active also in England, Palestine, and the USA. Mendelsohn was one of the most influential exponents of architectural Expressionism, and his sketches of fluid organic building forms and his Einstein Tower, Potsdam, are among the best-known products of the movement. Although his later work abandoned three-dimensional forms in favour of more conventional, geometric designs, these often incorporated curvilinear plans and retained an innovative dynamism.

Mendelsohn grew up as one of six children of a Jewish business family in the small East Prussian town of Allenstein. Following his father’s wishes, in 1907 he began to study economics at the University of Munich but in 1908 followed his own inclinations and enrolled as an architecture student at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin. In 1910 he returned to Munich to complete his architectural studies under Theodor Fischer, one of the most progressive teachers at the Technische Hochschule, and as a student he met several Expressionist artists, including Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Vasily Kandinsky, and Hugo Ball. After graduating in ...

Article

Eric M. Wolf

( Houston )

American art collection that opened in 1987. In 2015 the collection contained approximately 17,000 objects, specializing in modern and contemporary art (with particular strength in Surrealism, School of Paris, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimalism), antiquities, Byzantine art, and the art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. While the vast majority of works in the museum come from the collection of its late founders, John and Dominique Menil, de, the museum continues to collect and grow its art collection.

The main building was designed by architect Renzo Piano and was his first solo museum commission (he had previously partnered with Richard Rogers in the design of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris) and his first commission in the USA. In 2013 this building won the Twenty-Five Year Award of the American Institute of Architects, recognizing architectural design of lasting significance. Sited in a residential neighbourhood in Houston’s Montrose district, the modestly scaled museum building is surrounded by bungalows, houses, and smaller satellite galleries creating a campus-like environment. These surrounding properties are owned by the Menil Foundation and are painted a grey matching that of the wooden cladding on the main building. The museum features the first iteration of Piano’s signature glass roof, here suspended over large ferro-concrete ‘leaves’ or fixed louvres, which regulate the natural light entering the galleries. In addition to gallery space, the main building contains a conservation laboratory with studios for painting, object, and paper treatment, a research library, archives, museum offices, and the second floor ‘treasure rooms’, a sort of curated art storage making a large portion of the museum’s collection immediately available to curatorial staff and visiting scholars....

Article

Karl-Heinz Hüter

(b Mechernich, nr Euskirchen, June 17, 1881; d Baltrum, East Friesian islands, July 24, 1929).

German architect and teacher. He trained as a cabinetmaker and studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Düsseldorf, where he was particularly influenced by J. L. M. Lauwerik’s theory of proportion. From 1907 to 1908 he worked in Peter Behrens’s office, and from 1909 to 1910 he worked in Bruno Paul’s office in Berlin. From 1910 until 1925 he worked in close collaboration with Walter Gropius and directed his offices in Berlin and Weimar. In addition he was an outstanding teacher of architecture at the Bauhaus in Weimar (1919–25). When the school moved to Dessau, Ernst May appointed him director of the planning consultancy at the structural engineering office in Frankfurt am Main. He also taught structural engineering at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt. In 1919 he signed the manifesto of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst and was a member of the architects’ group Der Ring. In 1928 he founded the Frankfurt Oktobergruppe with, among others, ...