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Aas, Nils  

Ingeborg Wikborg


(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...


Aesthetic Movement in America  

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...


Affleck, Thomas  

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...


Albini, Franco  

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...


Alkema, Wobbe  

John Steen


(b Borger, Feb 11, 1900; d Drachten, Jan 30, 1984).

Dutch painter and printmaker. He trained between 1919 and 1923 as a cabinetmaker, taking evening classes in furniture drawing and design at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. He also took private drawing lessons with the Dutch sculptor Willem Valk (1898–1977). Around 1920 he started to make drawings and paintings in an abstracted, geometric style, similar to that of Bart van der Leck (e.g. En passant, 1921–2; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 17). From 1924 he worked in the architectural firm of Van Lingen in Groningen, and he continued to design furniture until the 1930s. He joined De Ploeg and started to mix with Dutch artists such as Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink (1885–1971) and Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman. He produced geometric abstract works such as Composition with Yellow Circles (1924; Groningen, Groninger Mus.). From c. 1924 he began to associate with the Belgian Constructivists involved in the magazine ...


Allis family  

Gordon Campbell

American family of joiners and cabinetmakers, active in Hadfield, MA. The brothers John Allis (1642–91) and Samuel Allis (1647–91), whose maternal great-uncle was Nicholas Disbrowe, were both joiners, as was John’s son Ichabod (1675–1747). The firm was managed by John Allis the elder, and employed his brother and sons; John the elder’s partner was ...


Allison, Michael  

Gordon Campbell

(b 1773; d 1855).

American cabinetmaker, active in New York throughout the first half of the 19th century; the principal competitor of his neighbour Duncan Phyfe. Allison’s furniture is characterized by the use of high-quality mahogany and a principled austerity in the use of decoration. His early work is in the Hepplewhite style, and his later work is modelled on Sheraton....


Allwine, Lawrence  

Gordon Campbell

(b 1756; d 1833).

American chair-maker, active in Philadelphia, specializing in Windsor chairs, which were painted or gilded. His relatives (possibly sons) John and Peter Allwine were apprenticed to him. The first family workshop opened on South Front Street in 1791, and the last, on Sassafras Street (now Race Street), closed in 1809, when Lawrence and John migrated to Zanesville, in Muskingum County, OH, they continued to make chairs, and also ran a tavern. Lawrence Allwine is the eponym of the varnish known as ‘Allwine Gloss’....


Anckerman [Anckermann], Daniel  

Torbjörn Fulton

(b Germany, fl 1620–56; d Mecklenburg).

German stuccoist and sculptor. His few surviving works provide fine examples from a period that is sparsely represented in the history of stucco decoration in parts of middle and northern Europe. Anckerman’s first known work is in Mecklenburg, where he decorated the ceilings in the castles of Dargun (destr.) and Güstrow. In the latter a vast expanse of his relief panels (1620) survives, although some of them are 20th-century free reconstructions. His other identified works are in Sweden, where he worked for several patrons, including Queen Christina. In the 1640s he decorated the funerary chapel of General Herman Wrangel (d 1645) in Skokloster (Uppland) parish church. In this tower-like chapel he provided three stucco wall reliefs: the Battle of Gorzno (1629) (depicting the battle in which the Swedes defeated the Poles), a family tree and a decorative landscape. The Gothic vault is decorated with leaves, entwined along the ribs, a central floral motif and four figures of angels, sculpted in such high relief as to seem almost in the round. In addition there are two life-size figures representing General Wrangel, one reposing on the tomb, the other an equestrian monument set against a wall. None of the stucco is painted or gilded, and the effect of so much decoration in a small room is somewhat overcrowded; however, it succeeds in communicating the patron’s martial pride. Although there is no documentation to support identification of Anckerman as the sculptor of these works, the stylistic similarity to the documented ones in Strängnäs Cathedral strongly suggests such an attribution....


Ângelo, António  

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl c. 1766; d Lisbon, 1814).

Portuguese wood-carver and cabinetmaker. From 1766 he worked uninterruptedly on commissions from the royal family or under their patronage, even after the court had gone into exile in Brazil in 1807. His name is recorded from 1803 in the book of those receiving communion in Rua S Roque in the Encarnação parish where he, like many other wood-carvers, lived or had his workshop. He was licensed as a wood-carver of the Casa do Infantado and later of the royal palaces (1805). When he applied for the latter qualification, he made a list (possibly chronological) of his works prefaced by the statement: ‘As I show here, I have been serving the royal household for thirty-three years’. This key document in Ângelo’s own hand allows a fuller survey of his work than has previously been feasible (Correira Guedes, 1971). Ângelo worked principally in executing the designs of architects of the royal household or the Casa do Infantado, sometimes on his own with complete freedom and responsibility, as in the construction of the tower for fireworks on the occasion of the inauguration (...


Anhtoni [Anthonij], Giovanni  

Torbjörn Fulton


(fl Narol, 1663; d Stockholm, 1688).

Italian stuccoist active in Sweden. He collaborated with Hans Zauch on ceilings in Skokloster Castle, Uppland (1663–4), and he created the ceiling in the great hall in Djursholm Castle (1668), near Stockholm. At Skokloster he may have executed two ceilings (1663–4) alone, in the antechambers of the apartment of Carl Gustaf Wrangel (1613–76) and his wife in the east wing. These ceilings are dominated by figurative motifs—flying putti in one ceiling, representatives of the Four Seasons in the other. The latter especially is marked by its somewhat naive but fine modelling and has lyrical scenes, such as the heavily clad young man warming his hands by a fire, typifying winter.

E. Andrén: Skokloster (Stockholm, 1948) S. Karling: ‘Les Stucateurs italiens en Suède’, Arte e artisti dei laghi lombardi, ed. E. Aslan (Como, 1964), pp. 291–302 G. Beard: Stucco and Decorative Plasterwork in Europe...


Arad, Ron  

Gordon Campbell

(b Tel Aviv, 1951).

Israeli designer, active in Britain. In 1981 Arad founded, with Caroline Thorman, One Off Ltd, a design studio, workshops and showroom in Covent Garden, London. In 1989, again with Caroline Thorman, he founded Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in Chalk Farm. In 1994 he established the Ron Arad Studio in Como (Italy). His most famous design is the Rover Chair, which recycled used Rover car seats. He has long had an interest in the use of steel, and the Bookwork bookshelves (...


Arroyo (Castillo), Miguel  

Jorge F. Rivas Pérez


(b Caracas, Aug 29, 1920; d Caracas, Nov 3, 2004).

Venezuelan designer, potter, educator, curator, and museum administrator. Arroyo was one of the first professional designers in Venezuela. He graduated in drawing and painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas de Caracas in 1938. From 1938 to 1940 Arroyo lived in New York City, where he worked at the Venezuelan pavilion at the New York World’s Fair (1939–1940) and assisted Luis Alfredo López Méndez with painting La Vida Venezolana on the ceiling of the canopy of the pavilion. Back in Venezuela, from 1940 to 1946, Arroyo taught art at the Liceo de Aplicación in Caracas. During this period, he taught and also worked as an interior designer (Librería Magisterio (1944) and Gran Exposición Nacional de Industria y Comercio de Maracaibo (1945)). From 1946 to 1948 he studied design and pottery at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA.

In 1949...


Art Deco in the USA  

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 ...


Arts and Crafts, John Th. Uiterwijk & Co.  

Monique D. J. M. Teunissen

Dutch company of art dealers and interior design and furniture workshop. The Arts and Crafts interior design and furniture workshop was set up in The Hague in 1893. The Art Nouveau character of the furniture produced by the workshop set it very much apart from its competitors. Designs were produced by the artist Johan Thorn Prikker and the architect Chris Wegerif (1859–1920). During the early years of the workshop the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde exercised a strong influence on its designs. After 1900 the designs became more austere, any Art Nouveau character being confined to woodwork and batik upholstery fabrics. In order to ensure the unity of each interior, an effort was made to have all the objects designed by the same artist. The workshop fostered a close relationship with The Hague school of painting.

F. Netscher: ‘Arts and Crafts’, De Hollandsche Revue (1902), p. 211...


Artschwager, Richard  

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...


Ash, Gilbert  

Gordon Campbell

(b 1717; d 1785).

American furniture-maker whose New York workshop specialized in chairs in the Chippendale style. His reputation is largely based on attributed pieces, such as the sets of chairs made for Sir William Johnson (now divided, examples in Winterthur, DE, Dupont Winterthur Mus. and New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.) and for the Van Rensselaer family (New York, Met.)....


Astrology in medieval art  

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....


Badlam, Stephen  

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Milton, MA, 1751; d Dorchester Lower Mills, MA, Aug 25, 1815).

American cabinetmaker . His father, also Stephen Badlam (1721–58), was a part-time cabinetmaker and tavern keeper. Orphaned at a young age, Badlam was trained both as a surveyor and as a cabinetmaker. Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned as a major in the artillery. He resigned within a year because of illness but after the war was made a general in the Massachusetts militia. On his return to Dorchester Lower Mills, he opened a cabinetmaking shop in his house and became active in civic affairs. He built up a substantial business, which included participation in the thriving coast trade, and even sold furniture through the warehouse of Thomas Seymour in Boston. He also provided turning for other cabinetmakers in the neighbourhood and sold picture-frame materials and window glass. Several chairs in the Federal style with characteristic carved and stopped fluted legs are stamped with his mark, but his fame rests on the monumental mahogany chest-on-chest (...


Baillie Scott, M(ackay) H(ugh)  

James D. Kornwolf

(b Ramsgate, Oct 23, 1865; d Brighton, Feb 10, 1945).

English architect, interior designer, garden designer and writer . He was articled to Charles Davis (1827–1902), City Architect of Bath, from 1886 until 1889 but learnt little and was largely self-taught. In 1889 he started his own practice on the Isle of Man, where he built a number of buildings, including his own Red House, Douglas (1893). He was a leading member of the second-generation Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and was among the first to build on the simpler, more abstract and stylized designs of C. F. A. Voysey, a refinement of the ideas of William Morris, Philip Webb, R. Norman Shaw and others from the period 1860–90. From about 1890 until World War I, the Arts and Crafts Movement, as represented by Baillie Scott, Voysey, C. R. Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Parker & Unwin and others, became the most important international force in architecture, interior design, landscape and urban planning. The work of these architects influenced Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann in Austria, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens in Germany, Eliel Saarinen and others in Scandinavia, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene in the USA....