Secessionism is the Viennese interpretation of the broader Art Nouveau Movement. Like other Arts & Crafts "schools," Secessionism relied heavily on handcraft, stylized botanical motifs, and warm naturalism to create pleasing objets—items intended to enhance architecture, furniture, lighting and other elements of the decorative arts. And, like with L'Art Nouveau (aka: "The New Style"), Secessionism sought to "secede" from the prevailing, traditional norms of domestic and environmental design.
Concurrent with this international new style—starting roughly around 1890 or 1900—was a growth spurt in the World's middle classes (especially in Western cities). As families moved from the peasantry (or labor class) into the middle class, they often sought to surround themselves with small luxuries (and had a little extra money in their pockets to make it happen). Although the Art Nouveau movement largely petered-out during (or shortly after) World War I, the middle class continued to grow between the World Wars (which gave a huge boost to the Art Deco Movement, which was hugely popular from the late 1920's through the 1950's).
The vase above, crafted in Czechoslovakia in the 1920's, takes its inspiration from the Viennese Secessionist Movement. It also points the way towards Art Deco, the new design trend waiting in the wings. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
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