Brian's History of Communication Design Blog

Weekly exposition on recent learnings.

Art Nouveau’s Birth in a Chair

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Last week we were looking at artists from the Victorian age, and one in particular that struck my eye was Mackmurdo.

He produced a set of five chairs in 1882 that clearly predates that Art Nouveau movement by perhaps as much as 20 years, yet is clearly a precursor of Art Nouveau in its styling. To wit:

Mackmurdo Chair

The fluid lines suggestive of, yet not representational of, plant forms, are clearly the same as seen in Art Nouveau works.

For example, the design of the Paris metro stations by Guimard:

Guimard Metro Station

Guimard Metro Railing

Guimard designed these stations in 1900, just to give an indication as to how far after Mackmurdo his work came.

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