The Style of Art Nouveau Explored in Exhibit

Article excerpt

The eclectic and self-conscious nature of Art Nouveau design is celebrated in the exhibit, "Art Nouveau, 1890-1914" at the National Gallery of Art through Jan. 28, 2001. Featuring more than 350 masterpieces in painting, sculpture, graphics, glass, ceramics, textiles, furniture, jewelry and architecture, the exhibit represents the largest and most comprehensive exhibit on the subject ever organized. Selected artists and designers include Charles R. Ashbee, Gustav Klimt, William Morris, Alphonse Mucha, Edvard Munch, Louis Sullivan, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Frank Lloyd Wright, among others. Before coming to Washington, the exhibit was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It will travel next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum from April 21 to July 8, 2001.

Although dismissed for decades after its death, today Art Nouveau is considered "one of the most complex intellectual and aesthetic forces in the history of decorative art," according to Paul Greenhalgh, curator of the exhibit. The movement (1890 to 1914) grew in reaction to the excesses of other academic 19th-century revivals. …