The Art Nouveau ‘Liberty’ Collection

The late 19th Century to early 20th Century saw the arrival of the style that came to be known as Art Nouveau. An innovative but short lived style that became an important bridge between the historicism of Neoclassicism and modernism. Art Nouveau in architecture and interior design eschewed the eclectic revival styles of the 19th century. Though Art Nouveau designers ‘modernised’ some of the more abstract elements of Rococo style, such as flame and shell textures, they also advocated the use of very stylised organic forms as a source of inspiration, expanding the ‘natural’ repertoire to use seaweed, grasses, and insects. The softly-melding forms of 17th-century auricular style, best exemplified in Dutch silverware, was another influence.