Posts Tagged ‘Art Nouveau’

This post comes to us from Pat Hickox, Docent.

Clara Driscoll in work room at Tiffany Studios with Joseph Briggs, 1901. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (Thanks to Ms. Vreeland’s website above)

Clara Driscoll in work room at Tiffany Studios with Joseph Briggs, 1901. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (Thanks to Ms. Vreeland’s website above)

I write to you as a woman, lover of art, and a docent @ NBMAA.  With the May 24th opening of “The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman” in the NBMAA McKernan Gallery, I will be eager to see Mr. Tiffany’s work.  However, I will also be interested to see if there is any reference to the women who worked within his studio in the late 1800’s.

Months ago anticipating this incoming exhibition, the Arts and Literature program @ NBMAA read a novel by author Susan Vreeland titled Clara and Mr. Tiffany (ask for it at the NBMAA gift shop).  Working with Heather Whitehouse, Associate Curator of Education, I developed a power point presentation regarding this interesting relationship to complement her discussion.

Thanks to Ms. Vreeland’s book and extensive web site www.svreeland.com/tiff.html, I was led into the fascinating world of women  in New York City  in the late 1900’s , as well as the newly emerging field of women in the industrial arts.  Her novel came about after much research and contacts with the New York Historical Society (www.nyhistory.org). (more…)

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This post comes to us from Jenny Haskins, Curatorial Intern.

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Au Nouveau Cirque: Papa Chrysanthéme, after Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Stained-glass window, 1894-5, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Art Nouveau (or “New Art”) was a brief, but significant movement occurring in the late-19th to early-20th centuries. It had a powerful influence on other movements, including Art Deco and Modernism. The spirit of Art Nouveau will visit the New Britain Museum’s McKernan Gallery  when The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman replaces Toulouse-Lautrec and His World. The two exhibitions are appropriately sequenced since Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s (1864–1901) highly decorative lithographs are considered to have given way to the Art Nouveau movement, though the exact initial source is arguable and vague. Although I am sad to know that the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit will eventually come to an end, it is exciting that the work of an artist who was a major influence on the American Art Nouveau movement will be taking its place.

It is easy to recognize Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) as essential to the flourishing of American decorative arts during the turn of the 20th century. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812–1902), the founder of one of my favorite jewelers, Tiffany & Co. Although Tiffany worked closely with his father’s renowned company (he became the first design director of the company upon his father’s passing), his primary interest remained in art. Tiffany was a successful paintiner, not to mention a prolific designer of stained glass, lamps, mosaics, metal work, ceramics and jewelry. In 1885, he created Tiffany Studios, a glass manufacturing and design company that made lamps, stained glass windows and vases with the assistance of skillful designers and artisans. It wasn’t long before Tiffany became an international sensation.


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The Bird Cage, 1910. Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939). Oil on canvas, 32 x 32 in. New Britain Museum of American Art.

Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939) was an American Impressionist Painter who was part of the Giverny group, but until recently was not very well-known. Frieseke was born in Owosso, Michigan, in 1874 and, from a young age, he was interested in many forms of art. He first began studying art at the Art Institute of Chicago, but he also studied in New York and in France. While Frieseke studied only briefly under James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), he was perhaps more influenced by Whistler than any of his previous instructors. He was most inspired by Whistler’s use of gradation of color. Other influences on his work included the flat and decorative features of the Art Nouveau style. Frieseke himself also stated that “no artist in [the Impressionist] school has influenced me except, perhaps, Renoir.” (more…)

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