3D Scanning at MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art

3D scanning at the MAKThe last two weeks of July were dedicated to 3D-scanning at the MAK. As part of Partage Plus, Thomas Nasswetter of Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH visited the museum in order to produce 3D-scans of selected Art Nouveau objects. Despite the heat (Austria actually experienced its hottest week in recorded history!), Thomas in cooperation with our collections staff managed to successfully scan about 150 objects from among the participating collections Glass and Ceramics, Furniture and Woodwork, Metal and Textiles, as well as from the Library and Works on Paper Collection. The procedure was witnessed with great interest by the MAK’s staff who had not been in touch with the technique of digitising objects in 3D before.

Click here to watch a short clip about the 3D scanning at the MAK! Visit MAK BLOG for more information!

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School of Art

Written by Karoline Schwenker (Collections Trust, UK)

GSA Although there are numerous buildings constructed in the Art Nouveau style, some gained more recognition than others. One such building is the Glasgow School of Art. The school was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh while he was a junior draughtsman with Honeyman and Keppie. Mackintosh had actually enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art in 1883 and had established his artistic reputation while there (huntsearch.gla.ac.uk 2006). While he did take a tour of Italy, Mackintosh was firmly rooted in designing with a Scottish mindset. He knew that the architecture of Italy and Greece would not suit the environment of Scotland (greatbuildings.com 2013). He was able to take advantage of available space and lighting to produce a building that would suit the needs of society. However, while serving a functional purpose, the design was also elegant and detailed. Each design complimented the others and created a sense of wholeness and completion (CRM Society 2013). Perhaps it was for this blend of functionality and beauty that headmaster Francis Newbery loved Mackintosh’s draught design for the new Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

While many, including the GSA website, attribute the need for a new building to the growth of the school under Newbery, the need actually traces back to the previous headmaster. According to The British Architect dated 22 December 1882, the growth promoted by the work of headmaster Mr. T.C. Simmonds lead to the need for a new GSA building.  A detailed account is given regarding the increase in the number of students enrolled, as well as the quality of the work produced by those students. The Lord Provost at that time hoped that new accommodations would be built soon, and his plan was to purchase land for £40,000, and then raise a further £105,000 for the construction of the buildings. However, the committee would not agree upon construction of a new building unless a complete scheme was presented. Although this meant that the building of a new GSA was postponed, everyone agreed that a new building must be constructed. As the article explains, there was a competition between France and the United Kingdom (UK) regarding the development of arts and science, including architecture. It was stated that the UK must continue progressing in order “to make the French people tremble in their shoes” (The British Architect 1882).

GSA It is here that Francis Newbery and Mackintosh step into the picture. Mackintosh enrolled in the GSA in 1883 and began to build his artistic reputation. In 1885 Newbery became headmaster, and the school’s enrolment figures continued to grow, as did its reputation in the arts and sciences. Moving forward in time, by 1896 a new school building became a necessity and a competition was held for the construction of the facilities, to which Honeyman and Keppie submitted a draught. Mackintosh had joined the Glasgow architect firm in 1889, and it was his design that was submitted for the new building. Newbery was already familiar with Mackintosh’s style, having been his headmaster and overseen some of his work. He praised the draught highly and the education authorities in London approved the decision. Finally, after years of desiring a new building, the construction could begin (gsa.ac.uk 2013).

While construction did begin in 1897, the full vision Mackintosh had for the building could not come to pass. Since the Bellahouston trustees only provided a budget of £14,000, construction could only begin on the central and eastern half of the building (gsa.ac.uk 2013). Even with these sections additional funding had to be raised, as the estimated cost was £18,000 (The British Architect 1897). These sections were completed in 1899. The financial limitations did not deter Newbery from trying to complete Mackintosh’s design for the school. Newbery and the Board of Governors worked for eight years to secure the funding required for Mackintosh’s design. As a result, construction of the west wing of the building began in 1907, and the entire building was at last completed in December 1909 (gsa.ac.uk 2013).

GSA While Newbery was working to secure funding, Mackintosh used the time to revise his designs for the building. Mackintosh incorporated a mixture of styles in the west wing and used modern technology and materials to achieve his design. When the west wing was constructed, it had a distinct 20th century look that differed from the previous sections completed in 1899. Over the years the school, particularly the west wing, gained recognition for its design, being exemplary of the Art Nouveau style. Since its completion in 1909, the building has become an object of architectural significance and is included in a list of buildings protected by statute. In 2007 a project began to restore the GSA to its original condition. Some of the changes included adding back in Mackintosh’s vista in the main corridor and replacing the partitions he had built between the studios (Design Week 2007). Another architectural change was the addition of a new building opposite the GSA. While not a Mackintosh, the architect Steven Holl paid tribute to Mackintosh in his design. Holl wanted to compliment the GSA design and reflect Mackintosh’s manipulation of light (Porter 2010). Today, the school must balance maintaining the building as a place of education, an object of cultural and architectural importance, and an attraction for numerous tourists every year (gsa.ac.uk 2013).


Further information:





Glasgow school of art set to restore mackintosh vision. 2007. Design Week2007, sec 22.

Glasgow school of art buildings. 1897. British Architect, 1874-1919 337-338.

Proposed new school of art buildings for glasgow. 1882. British Architect, 1874-1919 18, (25) 612-612.

Porter, David. 2010. Glasgow school of art wasn’t searching for a star.(building design). Architects’ Journal 232, (18) 10.

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Drents Museum: Partage Plus – Digitization art nouveau

DM Flyer 3From August 20 to August 26 the Drents Museum will have a selection of their most interesting Art Nouveau objects digitized by the team of Steinbichler Optotechnik. During the week of 3D scanning a flyer will be handed out to museum visitors informing them about the Partage Plus project and the period of Art Nouveau. Readers of the Partage Plus Blog now have the opportunity to take a look at the stylish information brochure from the Drents Museum before everybody else can!


Partage Plus – Digitization art nouveau

DM FlyerThe Drents Museum participates in Partage Plus, a European Commission digitization and research project. Twenty-three European cultural institutions from no less than 17 countries participate in this project. Between March 2012 and April 2014, Partage Plus will digitize over 76.000 art nouveau objects and will make them available online. The Drents Museum is the only Dutch participant. Its collection Art and Applied Art 1885 – 1935, including art nouveau, lends itself perfectly to this project; the collection contains some excellent examples of typical Dutch art nouveau.

Art nouveau is a style of art, applied art and architecture which flourished in the whole of Europe at  the turn of the Twentieth century. The movement coincides with a period of great social changes; it was a time of mass industrialization and ground-breaking inventions. In the Netherlands, the art nouveau style developed between 1890 and 1910.

The Drents Museum collection consists of, among other things, furniture, crockery, vases, paintings, drawings, posters, books and sculptures in art nouveau style. 2000 objects are to be digitized for  Partage Plus. By means of advanced techniques a three-dimensional scan will be made of some 150 objects. Visitors of the Drents Museum will be able to see part of this scanning process.

DM Flyer 2Not only the websites of the Partage Plus partners will display the digitized objects, they will also be collected and displayed on the portal site Europeana, a European digital documentation center in which cultural institutions, libraries and archives offer their material to the public. The Drents Museum’s digitized objects will be available on this portal site as well as in the museum by means of MuseumPlus.

The major works from the Drents Museum’s art nouveau collection are to be found on the ground floor of the Art 1885 – 1935 department. From November 25, 2013 till March 16, 2014, part of this department will feature a small exhibition on books and sheet music from the art nouveau collection.


Dutch art nouveau: Nieuwe Kunst (New Art)

DM Flyer 4The innovative elements in Dutch art and applied art at the turn of the Twentieth century are combined under the term Nieuwe Kunst (New Art): this is the Dutch contribution to international art  nouveau. Similar to the international style, best known for its elegant flowing lines and pastel colors, the Nieuwe Kunst knew many forms. In Dutch art nouveau we find a constructive style and a decorative style as well as a mix between the two. Within international art nouveau, the distinctive character of the Dutch style is its attention to function and construction of an object. However, this characteristic only applies to the sober, constructive style of for instance the work of H.P. Berlage. In contrast, the decorative style considered the ornament of an object its focal point, not function and construction. A flowing pattern of lines often obscures the construction. This style is more closely related to the famous international style often seen in, amongst others, Belgium and France. In the Netherlands, Jan Toorop was one of the artists who worked in this style.


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House for an Art Lover: Construction and Contention

Written by Karoline Schwenker (Collections Trust, UK)

What makes the House for an Art Lover unique, aside from its Art Nouveau style, is the fact that it was roughly 90 years in the making. The concept for the design began in 1901 when Charles Rennie Mackintosh entered a competition to design a “Grand Residence for an Art Lover,” which was run by the German magazine Zeitschrift für Innen-Dekoration (Levine 2008). Mackintosh designed the building with his wife Margaret Macdonald, whom he married the previous year. However, Mackintosh was disqualified from the competition because he did not submit all the required material by the deadline. Despite being disqualified, Mackintosh still submitted the three interior perspectives missing from his original submission. As a result, the Mackintoshes received an award for their designs due to their originality and uniformity. The portfolio was then circulated around Europe, gaining praise wherever it went (houseforanartlover.co.uk 2013).

House for an Art Lover While the designs were praised for decades, it was not until 1987 that plans were made to actually construct the Mackintoshes’ “Grand Residence for an Art Lover.” The idea originated from Graham Roxburgh, a civil engineer in Glasgow who had done refurbishment work on the Mackintosh interiors in Craigie Hall. Work began in 1990 to build the House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park. However, in the early 1990s a recession occurred, which caused construction of the house to stop.  In 1994, the work resumed so that the interior rooms and landscape could be completed. As with all of Macintosh’s works, the House must be viewed as a whole. His work incorporated multiple styles and is a compilation of opposites. Inside the house tradition Victorian designs are juxtaposed with modern concepts. One can easily see the blending of masculine and feminine, natural forms with abstract thought, or simple concepts with complex designs. Mackintosh emphasized a need for architects and designers to be given greater freedom when expressing their ideas (CRM Society 2013); and, this ability to create an independent design is visible in the creative structure and layout of the House for an Art Lover (houseforanartlover.co.uk 2013).

House for an Art Lover While the House certainly does reflect the Mackintosh style, one must remember that this is a construction based on drafts produced in 1901. It is not uncommon for architects and designers to be revising and redesigning their work until the last minute (Levine 2008). When Mackintosh worked on the Glasgow School of Art (GSA), the construction was divided into two parts. From 1897 to 1899, the funding was available to complete the central and eastern sections of the building. It was not until 1907 that there was funding to complete the western wing. During the period of waiting, Mackintosh continually revised his designs for the building. As a result, the western wing is distinctly different from those completed in 1899, having a decidedly 20th century appearance (CRM Society 2013). Given his history of altering his designs during construction, is entirely possible that Mackintosh would have made numerous changes to his draughts during the construction of the House for an Art Lover. It is for this reason that buildings constructed posthumously are often a point of contention. Many feel that there is not enough information in the designs to construct a building that reflects the architect’s intent (Building Design 2012).

With this under consideration, the current House must be viewed as an interpretation of the Mackintoshes’ original designs (Levine 2008). The Mackintoshes were designing a residential house. The current House was constructed with commercial purposes in mind. The House was built to highlight the Bellahouston Art Park, and it is currently used to house banquets, hold conference, and exhibit artwork. Inside there is a cafe and gift shop (Benitez 2005). Clearly with the change of intent came a change of structure. Mackintosh would not have been designing for the inclusion of a cafe and gallery, so the appearance would have been different. The House is still authentic in that the original designs were used, but many in the arts community want it made clear that the house itself is not an original Mackintosh (Levine 2008).

Despite these differences, the House is still representative of the Mackintoshes, and the organisation running the facilities wishes to promote the Mackintoshes’ work. Today, the House for an Art Lover encourages interest in art, design, and architecture. Visual art exhibitions are held in the gallery, as well as workshops and artist talks. It is part of the mission of the House to be a centre for the visual arts, both nationally and internationally.  Interestingly, it was the Glasgow City Council and the GSA that revived the project in 1994. Mackintosh had attended the GSA, and as mentioned, designed the school’s current accommodations. The GSA and House for an Art Lover maintain a strong relationship, which helps promote the House and its reputation as a cultural asset to visual arts (houseforanartlover.co.uk 2013).


Further information:




Benitez, T 2005, “Tradition Gets an Update.” Successful Meetings 54, 6, pp. 60-70, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 August 2013.

“Kahn’s vision of freedom lives on” 2012, Building Design, 2032, p. 2, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 August 2013.

Levine, Neil. 2008. Building the unbuilt: Authenticity and the archive. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 67, (1) 14-17.

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Exhibition Drents Museum: Lyrical Lines

A collection of 70 top pieces of the Grafische Sammlung from the Landesgalerie Linz, in Austria, entitled ‘Lyrical Lines’ (Lyrische Lijnen) will be exhibited in the Drents Museum from June 29th until September 22nd. Pieces by Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele, Kubin, Brosch, Egger-Lienz, Faistauer and Wach will be displayed on the upper floor of our section Art 1885-1935. The exhibition ‘Lyrical Lines’ provides a rich image of the extremely colourful and versatile Austrian paper art in the first two decades after 1900.

Paradisiacal happiness

With their sensitive and elegant lines, artists like Schiele, Klimt and Kokoschka cast us back to the early nineteen-hundreds, in which a great variety of new ideas and fresh impulses proceeded each other very rapidly. In 1897, a group of artists headed by Gustav Klimt, separated themselves from the mainstream artistic movement of that time. They called themselves the Secession, which means the Separation. Their goal was to renew. Although these artists didn’t have a set stylistic programme, a new style was born in which realistic and decorative elements fused and intertwined. Influenced by the Symbolist movement, these artists focussed on dreams and fantasy, and they set out to portray man’s longing for paradisiacal happiness, often in the shape of angelic women.

Ten years after the Secession, the next generation came into action: expressionists like Schiele and Kokoschka left the Secessional paradise and stepped back into reality. Their focus shifted towards the tormented, searching individual with all his phobias and frustrations. The inner self and the subconscious increasingly made their way into the images.

Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and their contemporaries did not work in isolation. They were surrounded by writers like Arthur Schnitzler, composers like Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss and psychiatric founder Sigmund Frued. Especially Freud and Schnitzler had a strong focus on sexuality as a driving force for human behaviour. Seductive women play an important role in their work.

Great variety of works

The selection on display in the Drentsch Museum envelops various themes: nudes and figure studies, portraits, landscapes, animals and war. The functions of the exhibited works vary from studies for paintings, sketches of postures and types, to autonomous drawings, watercolours and illustrations. The variety of techniques is equally large: we show gouaches, drawings, lithographs, watercolours and etchings.

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The longing for new life – Jugend at Rörstrand

Fishes and mythological beings, mermaids and monsters, swans, peacocks, waterlilies and surging water. The Art Nouveau at Rörstrand was wild and imaginative. Nature was flowing in the ceramic art. In the summer exhibition The longing for new life – jugend at Rörstrand objects are presented from one of the worlds finest collections of Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau was a longing for a new life of the 20th century. The contemporaries were tired of the industrialisations gluttony in historical tastes. Young artists turned to the nature and let its poetry blossom in workshops and studios. The taste movement got its breakthrough as Art Nouveau at The World Exhibition in Paris year 1900 where Rörstrand won several awards. In Germany and the Nordic and Baltic countries the movement was named Jugend.

The leading artist of Rörstrand was Alf Wallander, but also his colleagues Algot Eriksson, Vicken von Post and Gunnar G:son Wennerberg had their varieties of the new style. The connections with Europe were lively. The artists travelled to Paris, visited factories and exhibitions. The flow of ideas and technology went across borders and in and out of factory gates.

Rörstrand museum´s collection af Art Nouveau ceramics is world famous among collectors and specialists. Now the storage of collections opens up and tidbits are shown in the summer light. The exhibition is part of the EU project Partage Plus and will be shown at Rörstrand Museum in Lidköping 11/5 – 13/10 2013.

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New on Facebook: Art Nouveau in Croatia – Partage Plus

In May Partage Plus project partner MUO launched a new profile page on Facebook called “Secesija u Hrvatskoj / Art Nouveau in Croatia – Partage Plus”. Users can catch up on recent Partage Plus news and blog posts and learn interesting facts about the Art Nouveau period in Croatia. Event announcements and press releases round off the picture.

If you like Art Nouveau connect to Art Nouveau in Croatia – Partage Plus on Facebook!


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TV news about the Partage Plus project and the 3D-scanning at Röhsska

In April it was the turn of The Röhsska Museum Göteborg to have their Art Nouveau treasures 3D-scanned by the colleagues of Steinbichler Optotechnik. The week of the 3D-scanning at GC was used to promote and disseminate the aims of the Partage Plus project. Therefore, press and public was invited to an open house event. Guided tours around the museum as well as presentations about the 3D-scanning technique were on the programme. The open house event was a huge success as many visitors showed a great interest in the Partage Plus project and the 3D-scanning process. Furthermore, it also led a new collaboration with a Swedish 3D company.

Please click HERE to watch the short clip (in Swedish only).

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Exhibition MNAC: Gaspar Homar and Joan Busquets

In the frame of the Art Nouveau World Day the Museu Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya (MNAC) opened a new exhibition about Art Nouveau furniture designed by Gaspar Homar and Joan Busquets.

“Interiors del Modernisme – Gaspar Homar i Joan Busquets” from June 11, 2013 – Museu Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

The quest for beauty, utility, comfort and a certain degree of exhibitionist luxury is essential during Modernisme, and it materializes in the interiors of bourgeois dwellings. Together with the architects, the cabinetmakers and interior decorators are the fashionable new professionals that enjoy the commissions of the bourgeoisie, and they are given the task of furnishing and decorating houses, mirroring tastes and the new ways of living.
Outstanding among them are Gaspar Homar and Joan Busquets, by whom the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya conserves a notable collection of projects and furniture.

A selection of these pieces is now being presented in the context of Partage Plus – Digitising and Enabling Art Nouveau for Europeana, a project funded partly by the European Union, which has entailed the prior digitisation of this valuable Modernista collection belonging to the MNAC in order to make it accessible for the public.

See more information about some of the artworks at art.mnac.cat.


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Art Nouveau World Day in Croatia

Art Nouveau World Day at MUO, Croatia was organised as a show and tell event. Visitors could bring their own Art Nouveau objects (or photographs of these) to the museum for expertise.  About ten of the Art Nouveau objects were photographed for the Partage Plus project and can be admired online soon.

MUO also offered free guided tours for the part of the permanent display where Art Nouveau objects are exhibited. Some organisers/employees and tour guides were even dressed in clothing characteristic for the period. Music from the turn of the century accompanied the event. Furthermore, the museum organised an Art Nouveau theme workshop. Suitable refreshments were served during the event.

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