Handicrafts – Old and New

Decorative Art

Plant Form and Design - 1907

Above, is an example of Decorative Art from the Art Nouveau period as seen in the 1907 publication “Plant Forms and Design”

Decorative Art and Art Nouveau

The natural beauty of plants has inspired poets and artists for centuries, and it is not difficult to see why if you visit any botanical garden on a bright spring day. The fascinating shapes that create the outline of a plant make for an amazing muse for the more creative sections of our minds. The pioneers who created the Art Nouveau movement felt the same way.

Art Nouveau is a type of design, seen most often in traditional art forms and architecture, that is primarily characterized by the creative use of curved lines. Art Nouveau designs emulate plants in that they seem to grow on the medium used.

Art Nouveau was first seen in the 1880s as a part of the Decorative Art phase, but the movement truly came to be recognized as a forceful factor in the art world from 1892 to 1902. In the United States, Art Nouveau merged with the Arts and Crafts movement, which peaked from 1910 to 1925. While interest in the movement waned after the 1920s, the graphic design movement of the 1980s created a whole new league of Art Nouveau fans.

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