About

Inspired by Julie Powell’s success – her blog was turned into the Hollywood movie Julie and Julia featuring Meryl Streep –  I have decided to start a blog about my journey into finding out everything there is to know about Art Nouveau.

Looking back at the last 25 – 30 years of my life, this blog is the only logical outcome of many inspiring discoveries, lots of travelling and meeting wonderful people. The seeds have been planted many years ago and now everything is falling into place.

Metro entrance in Parijs

My first encounter (that I am aware of) with Art Nouveau was in Paris, 1989. I fell in love with the famous Métropolitain entrances by Hector Guimard (1867-1942). A year later, my friend Rumiko-san introduced me to Emile Gallé (1846-1904) at the Kitazawa Museum of Art, in Japan. I remember the room was pitch-dark, the ceiling was low and there was no sound. Only one spot light pointed from above at a vase with a polar bear. I could almost see the bear breathe!

Emile Gallé Vase with polar bear

Years later I learned about Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), bought a beautiful book about his work and told myself I could go to Barcelona only after I finish reading the whole book… Well, Barcelona is still on my bucket list, but I’m sure I will be able to read the book within the coming year or so!

Princess Hyacinth by Alfons MuchaIn the mean time, I did go to Prague and visit the Alfons Mucha Museum. Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) must be one of my favorite Art Nouveau artists as I can never get enough of his beautiful posters. Probably my most favorite poster is the one with Princess Hyacinth (1911), but I can also appreciate his Slav Epic, a series of twenty monumental canvases (the largest measuring over 6 by 8 meters) depicting the history of the Slav people and civilization.

Over 300 master pieces of Mucha can be seen at the website of the Mucha Foundation.

And last year (2011), when I got the chance to visit Helsinki, I must have taken nearly 1.000 photo’s of Art Nouveau architecture. Helsinki is just stuffed with Art Nouveau!

In later posts, I will try to figure out what is what, and who made it, but for now, I just want to show you some examples of the wonderful buildings I found in Helsinki, Finland.

Art Nouveau in Helsinki Art Nouveau in Helsinki Art Nouveau in Helsinki, Finland Art Nouveau in Helsinki

Since I can not travel all year around, and this blog (as well as any possible reader) deserves more than 5 posts a year, I am planning to investigate my hometown Dordrecht for Art Nouveau objects. Along the way, I hope to learn a lot and maybe I can finish this project with a listing of all Art Nouveau in Dordrecht and a guide explaining the objects in detail… To give you an idea of what beautiful objects can be found in Dordrecht, I have a really nice example for you here:

Art Nouveau in Dordrecht

Anyways, whether my blog is going to have many followers or none, I am 100% sure that I am going to enjoy this! Feel free to correct me, give me advice or ask me questions any time.  Join me on this journey into Art Nouveau!

Update 2016

That was 4 years ago… Since then só much has happened! I have studied heaps of books about Art Nouveau, traveled to beautiful places and visited some excellent museums. At the same time, I was busy restoring our very own Art Nouveau family home and searching the whole world for authentic materials to period decorate our home.

And I found beautiful materials! Wallpapers, upholstery fabrics, rugs, tiles, lace panels and lots and lots more… But none of it in my own country. That’s when I decided to start my own business and import these beautiful products. I wanted to help other home owners with their period decorating in Art Nouveau style too. Maison l’Art Nouveau was established on the 1st of January 2016 and has been a success since day one! What a wonderful feeling to have been able to turn my passion for Art Nouveau into a full-time job!

Newspaper article about Maison l'Art Nouveau

Newspaper article about Maison l’Art Nouveau

Update 2017

French journalist Claude Mandraut, who blogs about Architecture and loves Art Nouveau just as much as I, published an interview with me about my passion for Art Nouveau. If you can read French, you can read the interview by clicking here.

 * You can watch the trailer of Julie and Julia: https://youtu.be/ozRK7VXQl-k

36 thoughts on “About”

  1. This sounds a really interesting project. Look foward to updates particularly of your home town which I am sure has many examples being such a pretty place. Good Luck. RPY

  2. Interested to hear about the Kitizawa museum. When I was in Japan I saw the Art Nouveau Museum in Takayama, now I have another to look for if/when I go back.

  3. Nice to know about your interest and commitment for the art and specifically Art Nouveau. Thanks for liking my post as well. Please do keep coming to have some travel insights from around the world.

  4. laraleslieyoung said:

    Oh, NOW I see how you got into this. My bad for asking before I read the “about” page.

  5. What a wonderful site! I too am an Art Nouveau lover, enjoy learning all about it, and chase it around the world. Can’t wait to read more. All the best, Terri

    • Thanks Terri, I too love to read about discoveries of fellow Art Nouveau lovers… Only one downside… it makes my bucket list grow longer and longer… Don’t think I can ever complete visiting all the places on my list! But that’s okay…. as long as I can read and/or keep traveling! So, please keep ‘m coming!

  6. Hi, I have nominated you for this blog award. Keep up the good work:)
    Se the nomination here http://www.onegirlonesuitcase.com/sisterhood-world-bloggers-award/

  7. Martin de la Iglesia said:

    Interesting concept. Make sure to check out Winsor McCay some day.

  8. Hi Art Nouveau, I am nominating you for the Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog.The rules of the competition are:

    The nominate must provide a link to the person who nominated them.
 Here is my link:
    http://kleesbutterfly.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/liebster-award-nomination/
    Provide 11 facts about yourself.

    Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
    
Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

    Have fun!

  9. Dear Seishonagon3,

    How can I contact you (mail address)?
    All my best,

    Anne-Lise from the Réseau Art Nouveau Network

  10. Hi.

    Do you know where I can buy old art nouveau magazine covers or whole magazines like the Jugend and Pan?

  11. Hi,
    I’m now so proud to have met you in Paris today, in front of Hôtel Monttsessuy. Your blog is so incredible with so many information. It’s great, and I will learn many things on Art Nouveau. Thank’s a lot!
    Best regards.
    Arnaud

  12. take a look at this hotel in germany, in 56841 Traben-Trarbach, Moselle – http://bellevue-hotel.de/en/the-art-nouveau-and-the-bellevue/

  13. Very interesting, informative, well-researched and well-written blog. I enjoyed exploring here.
    Say, are you familiar with Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers? Google them.
    But I think you would particularly like the papers by Trustworth Studios. A lot of A&C and lots of Nouveau and other cool, cool stuff. Look them up.

    • Hi Wallpaper lady!

      As a matter of fact, I dó know both companies. This ‘About’ page was written years ago; in the mean time I have learned so much that I have decided to share my knowledge on a professional level too. I am now in the process of setting up a small business called ‘Maison l’Art Nouveau’. The core business will be Copywriting / Translating for others, about Art Nouveau. And with my years of experience in our restauration project I gathered só much information about Period Decorating that I decided to offer my help to people who are restoring their own Art Nouveau / Jugendstil home too.
      The website of my new company is still ‘under construction’ but you can have a look at http://www.maisonartnouveau.nl (At the moment only in Dutch). And I am going to represent Bradbury & Bradbury in The Netherlands; I have their samples already with me. Trustworth is a bit too A&C to my liking, but I have them on my radar. If that is what my customer would like, I know where to find them!
      Anyways, if you find any other Art Nouveau decorating manufacturers, please let me know!
      Thank you for your kind words, and for taking your time to write to me about the wallpapers. I do appreciate it very much. I love wallpaper!

  14. Thanks for your regular updates on Art Nouveau:

    As Amsterdam is a little bit urnderrated concerning Art Nouveau (Deco) and it is locally known as The Amsterdam School, I will point you out to the website of Klaas Schoof (Amsterdam Architecture) and especially to the section of 4.7.1 Amsterdamse School – Jugendstil/Art Nouveau en Art Deco
    You can find it here:

    http://www.klaasschoof.com/amst12.html

    Hope you will find it interresting.

    • You are right about Amsterdam Art Nouveau and The Amsterdam School. Not many people are aware of it (yet). So, thank you for sharing the link with us here. I will share the link on my Facebook page too!
      Personally, I try to write about it regularly, like in my recent post about the exhibition “Living in the Amsterdam School”. And if you click on “Amsterdam” (on the left side of this page) you can find all the other articles I wrote regarding Amsterdam.
      Thank you for reading!

  15. Hi,

    I am a french journalist (a woman), Claude Mandraut. And I am fond of Art nouveau and trips. I created a travel and culture blog, City Breaks AAA+ (https://citybreaksaaa.com) where I write about my travels and as soon as I can about Art nouveau. I would like to write “portraits” of people who have a blog and write on topics I am interested in. I have suscribed to your blog months ago because you give very interesting informations about Art nouveau and I follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
    So, I would like to write a portrait on you (your story, where you live, what is you profession, how you became interested in Art nouveau, how you manage your blog, what it changed in your life, etc…). If you agree, I will send you the questions in english and I will translate your answers in french.
    Can you tell me what you think about this kind of portrait ?

    Best regards

    Claude Mandraut

    citybreaksaaa@gmail.com or claude.mandraut@gmail.com

    • Hi Claude,

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog About Art Nouveau. And thank you for the honour. I would love to do this project with you! Introducing yourself was quite unnecessary as I know very well who you are! I have been following you on all those platforms too. And I ‘read’ the article you wrote for Ramona’s magazine last year. I have a hard time reading French, but your articles are accompanied by excellent photo’s always. Just send me your questions via aboutartnouveau@gmail.com and I will be glad to answer them for you.

      Kindest regards,

      Olga

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