During the 1890s a new style emerged that reflected naturalistic and symbolic motifs found in Japanese and other Asian design. This movement rejected the historicism that had dominated architecture and design during the previous decades and took hold across Europe and America too. In France the style was known as "Art Nouveau," after the name of the gallery belonging to its chief proponent Siegfried Bing, the Maison de L'Art Nouveau (House of the New Art). This side chair typifies Art Nouveau style with its curving lines that seamlessly flow from one to another. This abstract use of curvilinear lines to create form and decoration was one of the major motifs favored by art nouveau designers to evoke naturalistic or organic design. Art Nouveau reached its apex at the 1900 world's fair in Paris, which was intended to herald the new century with a new style of art. However, critics and consumers alike soon rejected Art Nouveau as too sentimental in favor of newer motifs and styles as the moment passed. By 1905 it was all but forgotten.

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  • Title: Side Chair
  • Date Created: c. 1900
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 96.5 x 46.1 x 49.5 cm (38 x 18 1/8 x 19 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: (Macklowe Gallery, Ltd., New York).
  • Type: Furniture and woodwork
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1982.4
  • Medium: mahogany
  • Fun Fact: This chair may have been designed by Parisian cabinetmaker Eugène Gaillard, who created a very similar design for the pavilion of Siegfried Bing at the 1900 world's fair in Paris.
  • Department: Decorative Art and Design
  • Culture: France, Paris
  • Credit Line: Edwin R. and Harriet Pelton Perkins Memorial Fund
  • Collection: Furniture
  • Accession Number: 1982.4

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