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Art Nouveau, 1890-1914

Paul Greenhalgh, editor

49 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0810942194 / ISBN 13: 9780810942196
Published by Abrams, New York, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Art Nouveau, 1890-1914

Publisher: Abrams, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

About this title


Art Nouveau exploded onto the art and design scene in the early 1890s and spread rapidly throughout the Western world. This lush volume-created to accompany a major museum exhibition that opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, before moving to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in October 2000-is the most beautiful, complete, and wide-ranging study ever published on this enormously popular and influential style.

A wealth of illustrations and rare period photographs showcase masterpieces in all mediums-from Tiffany lampshades, Mucha posters, Klimt paintings, and Lalique jewelry to architecture by Victor Horta, Antoni Gaud, and Louis Sullivan. The text, by 20 leading scholars, is a timely reappraisal of a style that flourished at the turn of the last century, in a world grappling with new ideas and rapid social change. Decadent yet popular, both loved and hated, Art Nouveau gave rise to the concept of an all-encompassing "lifestyle environment"-a total work of art designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

This season's most scintillating art book, Art Nouveau, 1890-1914 will be unrivaled for years to come.

PAUL GREENHALGH is head of research at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Former head of art history at Camberwell College of Art, he is the author of several books and articles, and a contributor to Abrams' A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He lives in London.

507 illustrations, 407 in full color, 496 pages, 81/4 x 93/4"


Art nouveau embraced massive works of architecture and delicate pieces of jewelry, images of eerie seductresses and sinuous plant forms as well as flowing abstract shapes. The style transformed the decorative arts of many countries at a moment when Western culture believed itself to be on the brink of enormous change. Being ultramodern in the 1890s meant moving away from classical standards of beauty to create a sophisticated blend of nature and artifice. It also meant finding fresh inspiration in art history (Gothic architectural ornament, the airy curlicues of rococo art), non-European cultures (flat patterning in Japanese woodcuts, whiplash curves in Islamic art), or native folk art traditions.

Authoritative and elegantly written essays by 22 specialists, illustrated with 507 sumptuous photographs, make Art Nouveau, 1890-1914 one of the finest art books in recent memory. Produced to accompany a major exhibition that opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and runs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from October 8, 2000, through January 28, 2001, this volume is the first to illuminate the full range of art nouveau media and the complex connections--scientific, literary, mystical, mythological, psychological, industrial, nationalistic--that allowed it to take root in Europe and the U.S.

The famous art nouveau figures are all represented, of course: architects and designers Charles Rennie Macintosh, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Josef Hoffmann, Antonio Gaudí; art glass wizards Louis Comfort Tiffany and Émile Gallé; illustrators Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha. But part of the pleasure of this book consists in discovering exquisite or bizarre pieces by lesser-known designers empowered by the dark sensuality of a style that perversely borrowed from nature to celebrate the nervous energy of urban culture. --Cathy Curtis

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