Takayama 5: More Art Nouveau

Hida Takayama Museum of Art [cont]:
Among the many fascinating exhibition rooms, we particularly liked the third and fourth rooms. Room 3 had a number of reproductions of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work, including room divider and lighting from “Hill House”, a house he designed in Glasgow, and the “Willow Tea Room”. The modern silver chairs in the tearoom must have been eye-catching for their time. In the centre was a huge baronial-style table that hinted of pre-Raphaelite tendencies but with echoes of a medieval castle. In the final room we saw highlighted the work of the Vienna Secession group, architects, designers and artists, who rejected the “Revival”style so popular at the end of the 19th century. They embraced a “Holy Spring” philosophy, referring to their youthful energy, developing their artistic vision using the ideals of John Ruskin and William Morris (who were also popular, it must be said, in the fin de siecle period). Among members were Josef Hoffman, Otto Wagner and the now well known Gustav Klimt. The underlying belief was that style comes from necessities. Everyday household items should be beautiful, simple and practical, furniture uncomplicated where elegant design was all that was needed to attain beauty. On display were bentwood chairs, a dining table, summer house chairs, and a sideboard with its dramatic triangular back – much different to the previous Art Deco collections. Next Nagano.

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