Art Nouveau

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Image features table clock in curving glazed earthenware case with polychrome linear decoration of stylized plant forms on a cream-colored ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Nieuwe Kunst, Nieuwe Clock
This Dutch glazed earthenware clock, manufactured in 1910 by the Arnhem Faience Factory exemplifies the Art Nouveau style, or Nieuwe Kunst as it was called in the Netherlands, prevalent in that country from about 1892 to 1910. Art Nouveau had origins in England and quickly gained popularity in France and the rest of Europe as...
Image features tall, slender, slightly cylindrical vase with globular shoulder, no neck, incurving rim; no foot. Design of tall flowers (stylized carnations) and curving leaves that rise up onto the shoulder. Beneath and between these are smaller flowers and leaves. A few random dots on top of shoulder. Decoration in metallic lustres on an iridescent ground, in shades of peacock blue, lavender, crimson, and green against a copper glaze ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Flowers Bloom amidst a Field of Iridescence
To celebrate the opening of Iridescence, on view through March 24, 2019, Object of the Day this week will feature iridescent objects in the collection. This vase with its shimmering colors and fluid lines was designed by Jacques Sicard for the Weller Pottery between 1902 and 1907. It was created using gray-white clay and is...
Image features pitcher of squat bulbous gourd form with a large leaf-shaped spout and handle in the form of a gathered root or vine; green and gold iridescent luster finish. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Eosin, from “Eos”- Greek Goddess of Dawn
To celebrate the opening of Iridescence, on view through March 24, 2019, Object of the Day this week will feature iridescent objects in the collection. This turn-of-the-twentieth-century leaf-form pitcher utilizes the innovative eosin reduction glazing technique developed and trademarked by the Hungarian porcelain firm Zsolnay only a few years earlier. Lusterware, which had been revived...
Image features a wallpaper border with a rose bush motif. Please scroll down for to read the blog post about this wallpaper.
One Thorny Wall Treatment
This is a wallpaper frieze containing stylized rose bushes printed on a striped and swirled ground, while an upside down heart motif placed behind the bush defines the shape of the climbing roses. The motif of the rose vines is nearly symmetrical and the delicacy of the scrolling and curving vines shows the influence of...
Poster for The Chap-Book, August 1894. A woman dressed in blue at the center of the image stands in a wood, holding a pair of skates. The words The Chap / Book, printed in red cover the lower left portion of the poster.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
With the temperature outside at record highs this week, I can’t help but think of William Henry Bradley’s The Blue Lady. Clutching her ice skates in her left hand, she makes a cold winter’s stroll through the thin, bare trees look elegant and placid. The Blue Lady was Bradley’s second poster for The Chap-Book, America’s...
Image features a woman standing next to a tree blooming with golden apples and a pond with a white swan. Holding a fruit in her hand, the woman is pictured from the side wearing a checked day dress, matching cape, and feather plumed hat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fashioning Desire
George Barbier’s Au Jardin des Hespérides (Garden of the Hesperides) appeared in 1913 in Gazette du Bon Ton. Translated as the “Journal for Good Taste,” it was intended for an elite readership concerned with high-society culture and entertainment, as well as the latest developments in fashion and beauty. The publication was led by the publishing...
Image features a half-length figure of a knight in armor. The drawing appeared as an illustration in "Le Morte D'Arthur" (The Death of Arthur). Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Defiant Knight
The publisher J.M. Dent was an admirer of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded in 1889 and known for expensive, lavish publications featuring illustrations and decorations by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones printed from hand-cut woodblocks. Dent conceived the idea of producing books in the style of the Kelmscott Press but at a much lower cost,...
Image features brooch in butterfly shape made of thin gold wire, with face of woman and hair coiled into butterfly’s wings; small diamonds and emeralds throughout. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Two Creative Eras, One Design Aesthetic
This brooch, entitled Melusine, was designed by Marie-Claude Lalique and dates to about 1965. Made of thin gold wire, the brooch features the face of a woman whose hair swirls and coils into the wings of a butterfly. The piece is enhanced with a scattering of diamonds and emeralds. The date of 1965 may be...
Desk Ware from a Simpler Time
In this age of electronic assistants, it is hard for many to fathom a time when telephone service was limited and mail, or what today is referred to as “snail mail”, was the order of the day. During the early decades of the twentieth century written letters were the most common form of communication, and...