Art Nouveau and Federation Architecture


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A description of Art Nouveau published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall hanging Cyclamen (1894) described it as "sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a whip", which (description) became well known during the early spread of Art Nouveau.[28]

Subsequently, not only did the work itself become better known as The Whiplash but the term "whiplash" is frequently applied to the characteristic curves employed by Art Nouveau artists.[28] Such decorative "whiplash" motifs, formed by dynamic, undulating, and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm, are found throughout the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design.

  • Art Nouveau architecture made use of many technological innovations of the late 19th century, especially the use of exposed iron and large, irregularly shaped pieces of glass for architecture.
  • By the start of World War I, however, the stylised nature of Art Nouveau design—which was expensive to produce—began to be disused in favour of more streamlined, rectilinear modernism, which was cheaper and thought to be more faithful to the plainer industrial aesthetic that became Art Deco.[1]

external image 170px-Immeuble_rue_de_l%27%C3%A9glise_d%C3%A9tail_Porte.jpgexternal image magnify-clip.pngArt Nouveau is rarely so fully in control of architecture: doorway at place Etienne Pernet, 24 (Paris 15e), 1905 Alfred Wagon, architect.
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The book-cover by Arthur Mackmurdo for Wren's City Churches (1883)
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external image magnify-clip.pngThe Casa Batlló, already built in 1877, was remodelled in the Barcelona manifestation of Art Nouveau, modernisme, by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol during 1904–1906
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external image magnify-clip.pngArt Nouveau House in Aveiro, Portugal


Art Nouveau Architects

Although no significant artists in Australia are linked to the art nouveau movement, many buildings throughout Australia were designed in the art nouveau style. In Melbourne, the Victorian Arts Society, Milton House, Melbourne Sports Depot, City Baths, Conservatory of Music and Melba Hall, Paston Building, and Empire Works Building all reflect the Art Nouveau style.[2] (see below)
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Architecture of French Hector Guimard
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Horta's house-studio. Detail of the facade
Three famous Art Nouveau architects made quite an impact in the short span of time when the Art Nouveau style was all the rage. Victor Horta, Paul Hankar and Hector Guimard set out to tranform the most plain and functional buildings, houses, hotels, public works buildings and even subway entrances, into works of art. They took inspiration from the beauty inherent in nature as they designed buildings that allowed for flowing, curvaceous lines and organic shapes. These three architects left behind a legacy of beauty and grace.

Art Nouveau Elements

You can identify Art Nouveau style art and architecture by looking for some specific elements.[3]
  • Flowing Lines: Art Nouveau is characterized by graceful, sinuous lines. The lines are rarely angular.
  • Violent Curves: Some artists referred to the curves in Art Nouveau works as whiplash curves. Rhythmic patterns of curvy lines are characteristic of this art style. These curvy lines connect the images in the art and can even be found in beautified plain items, such as dishes, eating utensils, hardware and furniture.
  • Organic Subject Matter: You'll find plenty of flowers, leaves, vines, grass, seaweed, insects and other organic images in Art Nouveau jewelry, hardware, windows and architecture. Examples include images of birds etched into window frames or curled around each other on fabric for upholstery, or abstract lilies drifting around and connecting to each other on dinnerware.
  • New Materials: Instead of classic gemstones, Art Nouveau jewelers opted to work with opals and semiprecious stones. Glass art reached a new level of popularity as Louis Comfort Tiffany and Charles Rennie Mackintosh took interest in the new art style. Molded glass, animal horns and ivory tusks became commonly used materials.
  • Resistance of Classical Restrictions: Instead of limiting art to painting on a canvas or sculpting out of marble, Art Nouveau artists and architects looked for ways to make everyday objects into pieces of art. A doorknocker might be molded to look like a dragonfly; an entranceway might be graced by vine-like lines in the molding. You can find a classic example of this by studying the entrances designed for the Paris Metro by Hector Guimard.
cabinet-vitrine
cabinet-vitrine
Tearoom
Tearoom

Tiffany lamp
Tiffany lamp

Gustave Serrurier-Bovy - Belgian (1858-1910) Cabinet-vitrine, 1899 narra and ash with copper and enamel mounts The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Macklowe
Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Scottish (1868-1928) Ladies' Luncheon Room from Miss Cranston's Ingram Street Tearooms, 1900 Glasgow Museums, Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove
Tiffany Studios American (firm active 1902-1932) Dragonfly table lamp, c. 1910 stained glass and bronze Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler[4]

Native flora and fauna

Robert PRENZEL, Fireplace surround
Robert PRENZEL, Fireplace surround
The idea of using native materials pre-dates the introduction of Art Nouveau as does the idea of using native flora and fauna. In fact natural motifs were widely used in the stucco and brick relief sculpture in Romanesque revival buildings in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly in Melbourne.
The Robert Prenzel wardrobe
The Robert Prenzel wardrobe


A Harvey school gum-nut art nouveau ashtray, Australian circa 1930
A Harvey school gum-nut art nouveau ashtray, Australian circa 1930
Robert Prenzel, The Davies Suite,three-piece suite of bedroom furniture (c1910).Collection: Art Gallery of Ballarat, Victoria. "Prenzel took the prevailing art nouveau style, with its elegant simplicity and sinuous lines, and incorporated it into symbols reflecting the dawning nationalism of that Federation era, with its cult of the wattle and other Australian motifs.

"This furniture encapsulated that sense of pride in the nation and you celebrated your pride by covering things with native flora and fauna. For a 10-year period between 1905 and World War I, Prenzel was extraordinarily popular and basically every grand house in western Victoria had a staircase or furniture by him."[4] * See also Robert Prenzel - Australia's Master Carver

Harvey school:L. J Harvey was an important practitioner and teacher in the arts and crafts movement in Queensland and a figure of national significance. Harvey was an accomplished artist, carver, ceramist and sculptor, as well as the inspiration of the largest school of Art Pottery in Australia.

In 1938 Harvey opened an applied art school in Adelaide Street, Brisbane and taught a wide range of people and was associated with the most significant Queensland artists of his day. Daisy Nosworthy and Florence Bland are just two students [5] * See also The Harvey School Collection at Qld Art Gallery


Gumnut Artistry ofMay Gibbs:



The Gumnut Ball
The Gumnut Ball


Art School in 'Little Ragged Blossum'
Art School in 'Little Ragged Blossum'


'More than a Fairy Tale. An Artistic Life' by Robert Holden and Jane Brummitt
'More than a Fairy Tale. An Artistic Life' by Robert Holden and Jane Brummitt


Gumnuts  - a rear view.
Gumnuts - a rear view.



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Gum nuts, kangaroos, emu, kookaburra and such, were part of Arts and Crafts decorative design and blossomed profusely during Art Nouveau. But the influence on Australia of William Morris' movement and his followers, such as architect C. R. Ashbee's arguments for a cottage design or style was limited more to spiritual resolve than material substance, and to a limited audience.
For architecture the potent ideas in England of those supporting the medieval cottage led to more flexible ideas of the bungalow which evolved in England and then matured in America at the turn of the century.
  • Art Nouveau offered no direct lineage to the future as did the theoretically stronger Arts and Crafts movement.
  • Art Nouveau tended to be superficial in its application to architecture.
  • Buildings containing elements of Art Nouveau were usually part of the cottage ideas or the relatively new ...Queen Anne revival, an architecture of many angular roof forms and white posted verandahs.[6]

Sydney Art Nouveau

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3 Park Rd, St Leonards
3 Park Rd, St Leonards
3 Park Rd, St Leonards
113 Brook Street Coogee
113 Brook Street Coogee

Artarmon's Art Nouveau Style Leadlights

Features of an Art Nouveau style leadlight:
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Standing on a very large block, well back from the road, this wonderful Edwardian villa featuring a concoction of Art Nouveau
fretwork and stained glass, half timbered gabling and tall chimneys, may be found in the Ballarat suburb of Wendouree.
The Art Nouveau Stained Glass Lunette of Queen Anne Style Villa - Ballarat By raaen99
The Art Nouveau Stained Glass Lunette of Queen Anne Style Villa - Ballarat By raaen99


The Art Nouveau Stained Glass Window of Queen Anne Style Villa - Ballarat By raaen99
The Art Nouveau Stained Glass Window of Queen Anne Style Villa - Ballarat By raaen99



Australian Art Nouveau Housing
Home with Art Nouveau elements, 75 London Street, Enmore, NSW
Home with Art Nouveau elements, 75 London Street, Enmore, NSW

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A Large Art Nouveau Villa - Moonee Ponds
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A Large Art Nouveau Villa - Travancore
This magnificent Art Nouveau style villa of grand proportions is situated inSydenham Street in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds.
Built in the years immediately following Australian Federation (1901).
The house's pale painted stuccoed brick and Art Nouveau fretwork give
it a wonderfully light feel. However, it is the villa's magnificent Art Nouveau
stained glass windows of stylised roses that are its real feature.
This magnificent Art Nouveau style villa of grand proportions is situated in aquiet, tree lined street in the Melbourne suburb of Travancore.
The wonderful facade treatment, (now enclosed) balcony and stained glass
windows of stylised roses are beautifully crafted.
This very spacious stand alone double brick residence with several gables
is one of the grandest residences in the neighbourhood.
Art Nouveau style from the 1920s
Art Nouveau style from the 1920s


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Art Nouveau in AutumnA wonderful concoction of Art Nouveau fretwork and terracotta tiles appear on a grand Edwardian villa in a leafy tree lined street of the Melbourne suburb of Elwood.

Art Nouveau Stained Glass Bay Window - Elwood
Art Nouveau Stained Glass Bay Window - Elwood


Art Nouveau Stained Glass Bay Window - Elwood
Art Nouveau Stained Glass Bay Window - Elwood

"Nocklofty" Federation Style Villa - Royal Parade, Parkville
"Nocklofty" Federation Style Villa - Royal Parade, Parkville


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Haberfield Federation House

  • Art Nouveau was applied to a variety of tried and successful architectural styles including the Arts and Crafts cottage.
  • The mix of Arts and Crafts with Art Nouveau, cannot be too heavily stressed. The pure new art of Belgium and Europe arrived in Australia about 1900 or so, but it was an English derivation organized about cottage and Romanesque ideas and forms.
  • More often than not it was a heavily massed architecture with surfaces of glass or white wood which received a touch of Art Nouveau form, line or colour.
  • Historian John Freeland's statement that in the hands of Australian followers and imitators ‘Art Nouveau was sterilized into utter superficiality’
Appian Way Conservation Area, Burwood NSW
Appian Way Conservation Area, Burwood NSW
Verona, 2 Appian Way, Burwood NSW
Verona, 2 Appian Way, Burwood NSW
This was true of most of Art Nouveau architecture. The very tenuous whipped lines extending into the architecture of Frenchman Hector Guimard's buildings, as exemplified in his designs for the Paris Metro stations, or the full forms and colour of the Spaniard Antoni Gaudi which found a completeness throughout his buildings, in particular the Casa Batlo, Barcelona, have few equals in the rest of Europe and none in Australia.

Melbourne Art Nouveau Victorian ArchitectureHistorian John Freeland's statement that in the hands of Australian followers and imitators ‘Art Nouveau was sterilized into utter superficiality’ had two implications:
  • as a means to a full design there was little in Art Nouveau to offer the architect and
  • those who tried, failed the offering.
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The Auditorium, 167-171 Collins Street, MELBOURNE.jpg
Victorian Artists Society
The Auditorium: 167-171 Collins Street, MELBOURNE

House interiors:

The paradox of stylistic mix is revealed in two interiors. The first was photographed in 1910
Above is the interior of an Australian house showing classical elements (cornice, flower stand and colonettes), Queen Anne chairs, Victorian overstuffed furniture and furnishings, Arts and Crafts end tables, Edwardian tiles and fireplace and Art Nouveau screen.
The other interior was published in Sydney in 1908 and was of a design usually defined as geometric Art Nouveau.

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Australian Art Nouveau interiors:

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Werona Bed and Breakfast Launceston Tasmania

Werona Bed and Breakfast Launceston Tasmania


Alistair Brae Pymble
Alistair Brae Pymble


18 Frenchmans Road, RANDWICK
18 Frenchmans Road, RANDWICK


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The Chadwick House (Vic leadlight has been attributed to artist Blamire Young, a friend of Victorian architect Desbrowe-Annear

Restoration has retained architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear's signature work. The dining room at 54 Nelson Street Sandringham. Photo: 2004 by Gary Medlicott.
Restoration has retained architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear's signature work. The dining room at 54 Nelson Street Sandringham. Photo: 2004 by Gary Medlicott.



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28 Lang Road Centennial Park NSW

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Beautiful leadlight at WB Griffin's 39 Robertson Road Centennial Park NSW

Art Nouveau Interiors in Haberfield NSW

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Beautiful Art Nouveau leadlight window set and patterned ceiling at 37 Dudley Street Haberfield

Beautiful Art Nouveau leadlined glass casement windows
Beautiful Art Nouveau leadlined glass casement windows

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Art Nouveau fireplace tiling at 36A Wattle Street, HABERFIELD
Art Nouveau leadlight door set at 26 Yasmar Avenue Haberfield

Architect Harold Desbrowe Annear

Harold Desbrowe-Annear designed house
Harold Desbrowe-Annear designed house
Peter Crone outside his beloved Desbrowe-Annear home, Chadwick House in Eaglemont. Photo: Eddie Jim, 9 June 2011.
Peter Crone outside his beloved Desbrowe-Annear home, Chadwick House in Eaglemont. Photo: Eddie Jim, 9 June 2011.
Peter Crone outside his beloved Desbrowe-Annear home,Chadwick House in Eaglemont. Photo: Eddie Jim, 9 June 2011.
A 1903 Desbrowe-Annear house.
A 1903 Desbrowe-Annear house.

1903 Desbrowe-Annear house. Photo: Neil Newitt
Three houses by Harold Desbrowe Annear in 1902–3 for a steep site on The Eyrie, Eaglemont, Victoria, were the fullest, most complete Art Nouveau in Australia. They were not the pure English or European variety.
  • They owed a great deal to the traditional nineteenth century, something to Queen Anne, and to Queensland verandah domestic style of a bulk raised on posts (‘stumps’) with wood dominating structure, surface and ornamentation.
  • Annear's designs had subtle changes in level within, sliding doors to change spatial appearance and size, as well as rather nontraditional plan forms, all suggesting ideas of the open plan.
  • The exterior forms were unpretentious and related to the bungalow by their informalarrangement and materials. Ornamental characteristics of rhythmical verticals in a suggested half-timbering were contrasted by sweeping curves which recalled Art Nouveau and the Queensland precedents.
  • Their overall effect, therefore, was related to Art Nouveau: fluidity of space and form, strong sweeping lines and the whole conceived as a related unit without traditional or formal encumbrances such as ornament or axiality
  • But the Annear houses (one was his own) were exceptions. In general, Art Nouveau suffered from the general misconceptions of eclecticism and resulted in another pastiche.[7]
Architect Peter Crone's meticulously restored home, Chadwick House in Eaglemont, designed by Harold Desbrowe-Annear in 1903. Photo: Neil Newitt
Architect Peter Crone's meticulously restored home, Chadwick House in Eaglemont, designed by Harold Desbrowe-Annear in 1903. Photo: Neil Newitt
[8] Click for more photos

Architect Robert Joseph Haddon

Robert Joseph Haddon, an English trained architect, was one of the few to work in the Art Nouveau style in Australia.
ANSELM SOHE 2008
ANSELM SOHE 2008

ANSELM SOHE 2008
ANSELM SOHE 2008
ANSELM SOHE 2008

ANSELM SOHE 2008
‘Anselm’ his own home in Caulfield Melbourne contains wave like tiles in the Art Nouveau style in the bathroom and he applied the sinuous Artexternal image Haddon8294.jpg Nouveau lines to the outside brickwork. Others used the stylised floral forms of Art Nouveau with the Australian Waratah, flannel flower, lyre birds, emus and kangaroo motifs.[9]
Haddon was the author of Australian Architecture. A technical manual, published in Melbourne, by George Robertson, in 1908. Hardcover.

  • For generations this was the first true Australian architecture book. Before this we have some trade and technical literature, some government reports and scattered papers and, recently discovered, an extremely rare pattern book printed (but probably not published) in Melbourne in 1885. So Mr Haddon is now moved down to second placeThis is a matter of precedence rather than importance as no-one ever saw the earlier book.

  • Despite Haddon's approach (a textbook rather than pattern book), his examples can easily be traced to his own projects - domestic, commercial, churches, hospitals and shearing sheds. His city office in this book, for example, is a close relative to his Fourth Victoria building in Collins Street, Melbourne.

  • His work was modern, very much Arts & Crafts (or Federation if you like) at this period and he argues for a specific response to local conditions and materials and demands a modern, honest use of materials.

  • Not all his designs hark back to English antecedents; the colour plate here shows a city building owing a dramatic debt to Moorish Spain (and some fairytale castle) and his design for the Swinburne College building appears to be part Spanish mission and part Mesopotamian.[10]

  1. ^ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau
  2. ^ http://www.arteducation.com.au/art-movements/art-nouveau.php
  3. ^








    http://www.life123.com/arts-culture/architecture-2/art-nouveau/art-nouveau-style.shtml
  4. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/when-federation-met-art-nouveau/story-fn9n8gph-1226591781730
  5. ^ http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/jol/2011/07/26/the-work-of-l-j-harvey-and-his-school/
  6. ^ Australian Architecture 1901-51: Sources of Modernism
                    • by Donald Leslie Johnson, University of Sydney Library, Sydney 2002
                    • setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/sup0001.pdf
  7. ^ Australian Architecture 1901-51: Sources of Modernism
                    • by Donald Leslie Johnson, University of Sydney Library, Sydney 2002
                    • setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/sup0001.pdf
  8. ^ http://news.domain.com.au/domain/architects/homes-of-national-importance-on-display-20110615-1g3k1.html
  9. ^ http://sampleboardonlineinaustralia.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/aussie-federation-art-nouveau.html
  10. ^ http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/ney/8294.shtml