Time Traveller: Art Nouveau

by Laura Casey Interiors on April 12, 2010

The past few weeks I have been referencing historical graphic design styles for a project that is in the works. While I have chosen a more Victorian route, I frequently returned to the swirling curves and whiplash styles that define the Art Nouveau period (1890-1914).  European artists, architects and designers were highly influenced by the Art Nouveau period as it gave way towards a more open design styles and allowed for other creative movements to flourish. Hector Guimard, one of the most famous architects from the Art Nouveau period made his cast iron metro entrances iconic to Paris.

The architectural and decorative elements in Brussels are gorgeous,

and also in Barcelona, where Art Nouveau still flourishes.

One of my favorite restaurants in Paris is Maxim’s.

The Art Nouveau decor has remained true to Maxim’s since it opened.

Next time you are in Paris, put this on your to-visit list if you haven’t yet been.

The visuals are just as fun as the atmosphere.

Original interior Art Nouveau style. The next two images could fall into one of my past and present series.

A townhouse in New York restored by architect Alan Wanzenberg and interior designer Vladimir Alexandrovich Fabrikov featured four years ago in AD,  which can be seen here.

An Art Nouveau lamp then…

and a carved and glazed contemporary one.

Alphonse Mucha’s watercolor “Peonies” which inspired many printed fabrics.

Mucha’s pattern, which inspired the carvings on the glass doors below, interior design by Kate Hume.

Art Nouveau may not have survived as an architectural style because of the reliance on heavy ornamentation,

but it still is very evident in many design applications, now you know what it is when you see it.

Photo Credits: Paris Metro Flickr, via Brussels of Tomorrow, Mosaic in the Hotel Hannon Brussels via Flickr, Martin Brown Art (4&5), Maxim’s Paris Google Images, via My Design Folder, AD January 2006; Screen Grab Audrey Hepburn in Charade 1963; Ann Wolf via House Beautiful,  National Galleries , Elle Decor online via Metropolitan Home

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1 Art » Time Traveller: Art Nouveau Laura Casey Interiors – Charlotte … April 12, 2010 at 7:30 am

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2 Ashley Schutz April 12, 2010 at 7:49 am

Laura, you should rent the movie “Cherie” with Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie is awful, but it is set in the Art Nouveau period and Michelle’s character has the most gorgeous headboard I have ever seen. It is a brushed gold scrollwork-y piece and I actually tried to find something similar online because I wanted it so badly for myself. You would love it!

3 Maryruth April 12, 2010 at 8:02 am

The Brussel’s subway entrance is marvelous, very creative, and enjoyable.
It gives the eye a rest from the normal dirty plain entrances.
Your research is very educational.
Thank you,

4 Steele Lindsey April 12, 2010 at 8:29 am

Ohhhh how wonderful! (clapping my hands) This period so wonderfully innovative and classic, sleek and chic, just love it. I am so glad you chose this period and the images are fabulous.

5 Jean April 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

This is so interesting and informative. Your blog is a wonderful way to learn about aesthetic history.

6 Mona Thompson April 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

These images are eye candy. I had my 30th birthday lunch at Maxim’s. That was 21 years ago! I want to go back!

7 Karen April 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

Laura I love Art Nouveau! The staircases and the Wanzenberg design are astounding!
Your art is on its way!!

Art by Karena

I have a fascinating interview with artist Robert Anders up on my site.

8 maybelline April 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

One of my favorite styles! Thanks for sharing! I will have to miss the Bunny Williams’ event. Have lots going on with our startup company for the next month before we launch May 15th! Can’t wait to read about the event here!

9 pve April 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm

As always you present things in a modern way with a timeless appeal. All of the sudden I want some sort of Art Nouveau nod, be it a lamp, paper or a book. Speaking of, could you e-mail your address to send you the book to you (your winnings) thanks-

10 viera April 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

so iconic, so beautiful!!

11 Sanity Fair April 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm

What a feast for the eyes! I really enjoyed these – thank you. The Audrey Hepburn pic was a nice surprise in the mix! You know what that reminds me of (movies and art nouveau) – the movie Gigi. There is some wonderful A.N. there, mostly in the scenes of Honoré Lachaille’s home and at Maxim’s in Paris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxim's_Paris).
-Sanity Fair

12 style chronicle April 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Always love the journey when you are the tour guide! I always learn something new. I love a mix so I might just need a piece of AN somewhere!

13 Things That Inspire April 13, 2010 at 4:44 am

What a beautiful post! Although I have only been to Paris once, I remember the Metro signs and appreciated their design and beauty.

14 Sara Jane April 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Be still, my heart! I already had a travel bug but this makes me want to pack up my camera and head to Europe today!

15 cristin @ simplified bee April 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

What a glamorous look! Love the dining room by Kate Hume. The wallpaper, light pendant, drapes – what fun!


16 Camila April 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm

So beautiful. Now I want to plan my escape to Paris yet again! 🙂

17 Patti Borrelli April 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Thanks for the inspiration! I’m feeling the need for Paris & something Art Nouveau myself. Would love to connect sometime.

18 Heather Gwaltney April 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Too bad you couldn’t include photos of our very own Carpe Diem which has beautiful art nouveau inspired woodwork – eye candy that is as good as the food.

19 Splendid Willow April 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Laura dear, what a great and informative post! Love the images you picked. All stunning.

When I worked for a PR company in Stockholm our office was in an old apartment downtown and my boss was a huge Art Deco collector. We had lamps and artwork and beautiful glass sculptures to look at on a daily basis. But we were always so busy that I don’t think we ever had time to fully enjoy all the treasures. Brings back good memories, though!

ox, Mon

20 Time Traveller: Art Nouveau Laura Casey Interiors – Charlotte … | Artist News April 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

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