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Art Nouveau! Can You Spot It?

Quick tips for noticing it and identifying Art Nouveau

Tulips, greenery, acanthus leaves in an Art Nouveau, curvilinear pattern
Art Nouveau wallpaper from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum
  • Inspiration came from flowers, clouds, insects, and Japanese woodblock prints

  • Colors in Art Nouveau are often soft, muted, and related to nature: greens, blues, mauve, pink, yellow, brown

  • Art Nouveau designs are often asymmetrical

  • Whether glass, pottery, jewelry, or furniture, Art Nouveau designs are filled with curves, swirls, and nature

  • Art Nouveau designs were created between 1880 and 1920

  • Important Art Nouveau artists and designers include Alphonse Mucha, Victor Horta, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Louis Majorelle, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Charles Rennie Macintosh.

Panel by Alphonse Mucha

Woman surrounded by leaves and flowers. From the Art Institute of Chicago, public domain.
"Woman with Daisy" designed by Alphonse Mucha

Swirls and curls and whirls of flowers and hair! The epitome of Art Nouveau! A screen printed panel designed by Alphonse Mucha (think of the Metro stations in Paris).


Titled "Woman with Daisy," c. 1898-1900, designed by Alphonse Mucha. Art Institute of Chicago, public domain.








Brooch by Marcus and Co.

Leaves and flowers in a three-inch brooch. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain.
Brooch in Art Nouveau style.


Brooch made by Marcus and Co., an American company in New York. Made c. 1900. Enamel, conch pearl, diamond, platinum, and 18 karat gold. Three inches long.


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain.







Museums with Art Nouveau collections


Victoria and Albert Museum in London (love their Art Nouveau jewelry!)

Villa Majorelle in Nancy, France

Mucha Museum in Prague, Czech Republic

Horta Museum in Brussels, Belgium


Are you a fan of Art Nouveau?



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