L’Art Nouveau

Feeding on other European arts and crafts-influenced groups and fuelled by interest in the Oriental taste French art nouveau designers established a group at Nancy, Alsace-Lorraine, during the mid- 1890’s. It was centred on the works of Emile Galle (glass and furniture designer) and Louis Maj’orelle (metalwork and furniture). The phrase “Art Nouveau” was a reflection of the “newness” of these designs and the name of a shop dedicated to the best of contemporary design. Art-loving patron Samuel Bing established his atelier “L’Art Nouveau” at Paris selling pieces from Germany and England in addition to French work. The natural world was a major stimulus to “L’Ecole de Nancy”, Emile Galle’s group, with furniture lines echoing the sinuosity of plant growth patterns. The multi-layered cameo-cut glass technique of Galle and the Daum Freres was a drawcard at the 1900 Paris Exhibition showcasing the new style, which had a limited market.

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