Revivalism to Nouveau: Jewelry from the Age of Victoria
At the turn of the 20th Century, the short-lived but long celebrated Aesthetic Movement dubbed “Art Nouveau” took hold. Unlike much of the Romantic art and jewelry of the Victorian era, Art Nouveau has a complex relationship with revivalism and a less than clear association with the international influences that drove previous artistic movements. This lecture will examine how the great artists, painters, sculptors and jewelry and furniture designers engaged with or consciously moved away from the philosophy that drove the leading trends that preceded it. How true was the Art Nouveau movement to John Ruskin’s vision of art that was “true to nature”? How influential were William Morris’s doctrines on art and craft? What role did the increasingly popular Japonisme play in the creation of the aesthetic? And how did James Abbott McNeil Whistler upend the Beaux-Arts style with a single room? President of Macklowe Gallery and a leading expert in the field of Art Nouveau art, sculpture and jewelry, Ben Macklowe will guide us through the answers to these challenging questions and more in this comprehensive lecture. In recent years, Mr. Macklowe has sought to shed light on areas of collecting that have never been fully explored. The gallery website features art and jewelry terms; artists’ biographies; links to books, articles and museum exhibitions relevant to the decorative arts, antiques and jewelry; and a scholarly examination of the life, work and influence of Louis Comfort Tiffany. He spearheaded the publication of two lavishly illustrated Macklowe Gallery exhibition catalogs “Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris” and “Nature Transformed: Art Nouveau Horn Jewelry.” Benjamin Macklowe joined Macklowe Gallery in 1994 and became its president in 2012. Under his leadership, Macklowe Gallery has become the world’s most respected dealer of French Art Nouveau and the decorative arts of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Mr. Macklowe is a sought-after expert in his field and has served as a lecturer for museum groups and scholarly organizations throughout the nation.