Art Nouveau

Ferenc Helbing-1898Art Nouveau can be understood as a vast design movement that, at the end of the 19th century, swept all over Europe and the United States. The period of Art Nouveau coincides with a time of significant change. It was an age of massive industrialisation and groundbreaking inventions. The introduction of electricity, automobiles, skyscrapers or female suffrage added up to the fast pace of progress. The Art Nouveau movement reflected these transformations in a linear dynamic style by the help of a decorative vocabulary based on the fragile forms of nature. The roots of this ornamental style, which was also called Liberty Style in Great Britain, Jugendstil in Germany and Secession in Central Eastern Europe, traces back to the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Artists strived to turn a special attention to the thitherto neglected applied arts. As a critical reaction to the academic fine arts, they wanted art to become more natural and connected to everyday life. In the Art Nouveau period artists reached out to a vast number of design sources for inspiration. The cultural heritage of their own countries as well as art from the Middle East and Asia had a strong impact on design, art and architecture. But not only natural forms and textures served as incitation, also brand new materials and techniques were used by the artists to harmonise their decorative designs. In Art Nouveau we can indeed find the seeds of our modern environment.

Art Nouveau is well represented, in almost every art form, in museum collections, archives, libraries, photographic archives, and on buildings throughout Europe. The objects, paintings, drawings and sculptures from that period are appreciated for the masterpieces of craftsmanship and originality they are. Furthermore, Art Nouveau monuments are now recognized by UNESCO on their World Heritage List as significant contributions to cultural heritage.
Amongst others, the project will be adding material and masterpieces from artists such as: