Hindsight/Foresight: Two Art Nouveau Masters Wed Traditional Craft to Artistic and Industrial Innovation

By Judith E. Stone.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This presentation will note commonalites between two innovators: (1) rejection of historicism and associated pastiche built structures; (2) recycling of vernacular design andarchitectural features of their homelands into their commissioned prjects; (3) ties with German-speaking design contemporaries, Mackintosh with the Vienna Secession, Van de Velde with the Deutsche Werkbund; (4) concern with merging the advantages of industrial materials and fabrication with traditional hand craftsmanship; and (5) participation in avant garde art organizations, The Group of Four in Glasgow, Les Vingt in Brussels. The study will also focus on the two final commonalities, (4) and (5), listed above. To illustrate the symbiosis of industrial fabrication with hand craftsmanship in the work of Mackintosh, the presentation will address the Glasgow School of Art, noting as well the critical role process drawings played in this and all the architect’s built projects. In discussing Van de Velde, the talk will highlight the Belgian’s involvement in the German Deutsche Werkbund, examining his modernist Workers’ Theater, built for the 1914 Werkbund Fair in Cologne, as well as his opposition to Muthesius’ demand for govenment-imposed standardization of structural elements in German design and architecture. The study will trace this opposition back to Van de Velde’s participation in Les Vingt.

Keywords: Art Nouveau, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Henry Van de Velde, The Group of Four, Les Vingt, Glasgow School of Art, Deutsche Werkbund, Vienna Secession, Workers’ Theater, Cologne Werkbund Fair, Hermann Muthesius

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.89-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 970.607KB).

Prof. Judith E. Stone

Lecturer, Department of Art and Art History, The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA

Judith E. Stone has 30 years professional activity in studio art, conducted in tandem with 30 years interdisciplinary teaching, in literature, intellectual history, and art history, on campuses in Denver, Philadelphia, Tokyo, and Burlington, Vermont. Her mixed media work on paper figures in public and private collections throughout the United States and Japan. She has published in the Oxford Round Table's Forum on Public Policy, the Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies, UVM, and Per Contra: The International Journal for the Arts, Literature, and Ideas. A Macdowell Colony Resident Fellow, Stone is included in the Marquis Who's Who in American Art and the Marquis Who's Who of American Women.

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