Art Nouveau (French for “new art”) is a style in art, architecture and design that peaked in popularity at the beginning of the 20th century.
The origins of Art Nouveau are found in the resistance of William Morris to the cluttered compositions and the revival tendencies of the Victorian era and his theoretical approaches that helped initiate the Arts and Crafts movement. However, Arthur Mackmurdo’s book-cover for Wren’s City Churches (1883), with its rhythmic floral patterns, is often considered the first realisation of Art Nouveau. Around the same time, the flat perspective and strong colors of Japanese woodcuts, especially those of Katsushika Hokusai, had a strong effect on the formulation of Art Nouveau’s formal language. The wave of Japonisme that swept through Europe in the 1880s and 1890s was particularly influential on many artists with its organic forms, references to the natural world, and clear designs that contrasted strongly with the reigning taste.
Art Nouveau in architecture and interior design eschewed the eclectic revival styles of the Victorian era. Though Art Nouveau designers selected and ‘modernized’ some of the more abstract elements of Rococo style, such as flame and shell textures, they also advocated the use of highly stylized organic forms as a source of inspiration, expanding the ‘natural’ repertoire to embrace seaweed, grasses, and insects.
Studio One by Ornamental Products
Ornamental Products showcased their Liana series from their “Studio One” collections. Using CNC carving equipment, Ornamental Products is able to create intertwined stems and foliage from premium hardwoods.
Hafele will be offering hardware that matches Ornamental Products’ carved components. I didn’t get a good picture of the Liana hardware but the knob below matches Ornamental’s new Revival Series from the Studio One collection. Hopefully these will be available soon.
Speaking of hardware, Notting Hill Decorative Hardware is a great source for period pieces. I think their Cicada Hinge Plate is exquisite.
Notting Hill Decorative Hardware partnered with South Sudan Voices of Hope (SSVOH) and created Hope Blossom to benefit the people in the war-torn area of the Sudan. This hardware features the stylized blossom of the peanut plant which is a sustainable food source in the Sudan. 75% of the profits of Hope Blossom will be donated to SSVOH to help provide such things as clean drinking water, seeds, tools, medical care and education.
Another great exhibitor at KBIS showing beautiful artistic hardware was Marella from Classic Hardware. Their Aurea Collection is an exclusive collection “dedicated to those interested in precious objects, exclusive in aesthetical aspects and design”.
Another beautiful feature of this hardware is its availability in Gold (24kt), Silver, Sweet Gold (rose), Chocolate Gold (brown) and Spring Gold (green).
I hope you are inspired. Please add any comments for your favorite Art Nouveau sources.