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Art Nouveau

 
Fantastic "Greetings from New York", postmarked 1907. This one shows views of the St. Paul Building on Broadway, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building and New and Old Parkhurst Churches, Governor's Island, the Times Building at Broadway and 42nd at night, plus a great view of a big steamer with a small sailboat. What makes this so great are all the background details and flourishes, especially the water lilies, and the coloring is superb.
Wonderful "Greetings from New York". Bold and brash art nouveau card, postmarked 1910. Love the star and its rays, plus nice flower detail, and big steamship. Shows views of the Times Building at Broadway and 42nd Street, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and Macy's Department Store and Herald Square. Terrific colors and details!
Another wonderful art nouveau "Greetings from New York". Terrific turn-of-the-century multiple view of New York City: City Investing Building, Flatiron Building, and the Singer Building (Highest Building in the World). Lots of fun. Postmark 1908.
Wonderful art nouveau "Greetings from New York". Turn of the century multiple views of New York City: Riverside Drive, Vine Arch Bridge, Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Temple Beth El. This and following views make excellent companion pieces. For similar Art Nouveau multi-views, see Philadelphia, Boston, and Providence. See also "East Coast Art Nouveau" in our "Things" category.
Art Nouveau has made itself know and present from 1880s to 1910s. This movement walked under the flag of an art that would break all connections to classical times, and bring down the barriers between the fine arts and applied arts. Art Nouveau was more than a mere style. It was a way of thinking about modern society and new production methods. It was an attempt to redefine the meaning and nature of the work of art. From that time on, it was the duty of art not to overlook any everyday object, no matter how utilitarian it might be. This approach was considered completely new and revolutionary, thus the New Art - Art Nouveau name.
   An artist should work on everything from architecture to furniture design so that art would become a part of everyday life. By making beauty and harmony a part of everyday life, artists make people's lives better. This approach has been represented in painting, architecture, furniture, glassware, graphic design, jewelry, pottery, metalwork, and textiles and sculpture. Advertising posters were welcomed into art, and fence has been proclaimed a suitable exhibition place for this new art. This was a sharp contrast to the traditional separation of art into the distinct categories of fine art (painting and sculpture) and applied arts (ceramics, furniture, and other practical objects).
   Because of typical flat, decorative patterns used in all art forms, Art Nouveau obtained a nickname 'the noodle style' in French, 'Le style nouilles'. Visual standards of the Art Nouveau style are flat, decorative patterns, intertwined organic forms of stems or flowers. Art Nouveau emphasized handcrafting as opposed to machine manufacturing, the use of new materials. Although curving lines characterize Art Nouveau, right-angled forms are also typical, especially as the style was practiced in Scotland and in Austria. Typical for this style was artistic application of modern industrial techniques and modern materials (unmasked iron in architecture for example). Principal subjects are lavish birds and flowers, insects and polyformic femme fatale. Abstract lines and shapes are used widely as a filling for recognizable subject matter. Purposeful elimination of three-dimensions is often applied through reduced shading. Art Nouveau artifacts are beautiful objects of art, but not necessarily very functional.
   Art Nouveau flourished in a number of European countries, many of which developed their own names for the style. Art Nouveau was known in France as style Guimard, after French designer Hector Guimard; in Italy as the stile Floreale (floral style); stile Liberty, after British Art Nouveau designer Arthur Lasenby Liberty; in Spain as Modernisme; in Austria as Sezessionstil (Vienna Secession); and in Germany as Jugendstil.
   Art Nouveau had its deepest influence on a variety of art and design movements that continued to explore integrated design, including De Stijl, a Dutch design movement in the 1920s, and the German Bauhaus school in the 1920s and 1930s.

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