Arts & Crafts MovementAn English movement that originated in 1888 at a London exhibition organized by the Art Worker's Guild.  William Morris is generally conceded to be its primary inspirational leader.  In spite of its somewhat romantic idealism and backward-looking nostalgia, the Arts and Crafts movement embodied hints of the directions that Modernism was to take in its emphasis on functional design and honest use of materials and production techniques.  These ideas were manifested in the development of art nouveau in Europe, and the Deutscher Werkbund movement in Germany, and so, through Walter Gropius into the modernism of the 1920s and 30s.  An excellent book on the topic is Gillian Naylor's 1971 book, "The Arts and Crafts Movement".

 Bauhaus:  The famous German school of design founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar based on principles of the 19th century English designer William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.  In the 20's and 30's  became the leading intellectual and creative center in the development of Modernism. Later located successively at Dessau, Berlin, and Chicago, strove to develop a functional architecture based on a correlation between creative design and modern industry and science. Students worked simultaneously under two masters, one an artist the other a craftsman specializing in a particular discipline.  The student's final years were devoted to architecture and building.   Bauhaus:    bauen=build + haus=house

 ConstructivismTerm used to describe the art and design that developed after the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Largely abstract using visual elements as parts of works that are "constructed" or assembled rather than painted or carved as in most historic fine art. Can be seen in much Bauhaus design.   A movement in modern art, originally in painting and later in sculpture and architecture, calling for the use of materials such as glass, wood, paper, and wire, instead of paints, crayons, and the like, and emphasizing the role of art as an instrument for construction. Art in constructivism is typically geometric, massive, and three-dimensional.  Naum Gabo, Antoine Pevsner, and El Lissitzky brought Constructivism from the Soviet Union to the West.  Laszlo Moholy-Nagy came to Germany from Hungary, Theo van Doesburg from the Netherlands.  Ben Nicolson was the most prominent English Constructivist.  Josef Albers and Hans Richter were also instrumental in its international dissemination.

Cubism:  Seeks to reproduce different perspectives or forms simultaneously, as they might be seen by the mind's eye.  Cubism rejects images as perceived by the retina and recognizes that perspectival space is an illusory, rational convention, based on works of art since the Renaissance.  Whereas art should be four dimensional. a style of painting, drawing, and sculpture, developed in the early 1900's, in which objects are represented by cubes and other geometrical forms rather than by realistic details. Ex. Picasso ... said that ... "Cubism is no different from any other school of painting ... it is an art dealing primarily with forms" (New Yorker).

 Dada:  An anti-art art movement in Europe that assailed art conventions through the use of absurdity.  Dada got its start in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I with a group of rebellious young artists who thought the world was going nowhere The Dadaists reacted to what they believed were outworn traditions in art, and the evils they saw in society. They tried to shock and provoke the public with outrageous pieces of writing, cabaret skits, poetry recitals, and art exhibitions (Marcel Franciscono).   Marcel Duchamp is one of the best known Dadaist.  His "Fountain" of 1917 is simply a standard urinal signed and displayed as a sculpture.  It had the effect of opening up new directions in art now widely accepted as legitimate even though some thought the art banal and trashy. 

 De Stijl:  Dutch modernist movement in design and the arts taking its name from the magazine founded by Dutch sculptor and architect Theo van Doesburg in 1917.  Publication ceased in 1928.  Favored a constructivist approach based on abstract geometric form, especially rectangles, and the use of black and white and pure primary colours. The painter Piet Mondrian, the architect J.J.P. Oud, and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld were amongst the best known of the movement and had considerable influence in the development of design theory at the Bauhaus. 

 Deutscher WerkbundGerman association founded in 1907 to promote excellence in design and craft manufacturing.  Among the personalities associated were Walter Gropius, Peter Behrens, Ludwig mies van der Rohe, Hermann Muthesius, Richard Riemerschmidt, and Henry van de velde.  It was dissolved in 1934 in response to the growing pressure against Modernism generated by the rise of the Nazi regime.  A revival of the Werkbund began in 1947.

 L'Esprit NouveauDesign magazine published in Paris from 1920 to 1926 devoted to the promotion of developing ideas of Modernism in art, architecture and all other aspects of design.  The architect Le Corbusier and the painter Amedee Ozenfant were principal players.  In the Paris Exhibtion of 1925, L'Esprit Nouveau had a pavilion designed by Le Corbusier that was a striking showcase for his ideas.  A replica of the pavilion was built in Bologna, Italy in 1977.

 Futurism:  Movement in the fine arts based in Italy from 1909 till the beginning of World War 1.  The term refers to any concepts that attempt to predict or suggest design directions for the future.  The poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was a key leader in developing the philosophical underpinnings of futurism.  Characterized by attempts to express the sensation of movement and growth in objects and not the objects' appearance at some particular moment. The themes and forms are an attempt to attune the fine arts to an age of violence, machines, and speed. 2. a similar tendency in literature and music. Futurism's impact on the design world was primarily through the architectural proposals of Antonio Sant'Elia for city scenes of fantastic buildings, bridges, and roadways that suggested future directions, both admired and dreaded that have come into realization to some extent in recent times.    

 The Industrial Revolution:  Began in Britain during the 1700's and spread to other European countries and to North America by the early 1800's. For centuries, architects had concentrated on designing religious buildings, castles and palaces, and country houses. The Industrial Revolution required such structures as factories, railroad stations, warehouses, and office buildings. Architects used new materials and new methods to design the new structures. 

The Industrial Revolution led to the first commercial and industrial world's fair, the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The fair was housed in the Crystal Palace (1851), a revolutionary glass and iron structure designed by Sir Joseph Paxton. The building covered almost 19 acres (8 hectares) and looked much like a giant greenhouse. Paxton's Crystal Palace was also the first important prefabricated structure. The iron frame and glass panels were manufactured in a factory and then assembled at the site of the exhibition. 

The success of the Great Exhibition brought about similar fairs in other cities in Europe and in the United States. These exhibitions required special facilities and gave architects an opportunity to test new ideas. The Crystal Palace and later glass and iron exhibition halls influenced the development of the glass and metal skyscrapers of the 1900's. 

The Crystal Palace did not resemble any earlier style of architecture. However, many structures built with the new technology preserved associations with historical styles. For example, the English architects John Dobson and Philip Hardwick designed a number of railroad stations with neoclassical facades. Hardwick also used cast-iron Doric columns to support his St. Katherine's Dock warehouses (1828) in London. The French architect Henri Labrouste combined new building techniques with the Renaissance style in the library of Sainte Genevieve (1850) in Paris. The library has walls of traditional masonry, but the vaults and columns are made of iron. Labrouste allowed the iron to show, making the library the first major public building to use iron as part of the architectural style.

 Industrial Design:  Most widely used term for the professional design of objects intended for quantity production. industrial design, the profession of planning and developing industrial techniques and of designing equipment, especially equipment which is mass-produced.

 International Style:  Term used to describe architectural design that is simple, functional, and unornamented, following the theoretical teachings of the Bauhaus and the leading figures of Modernism of the 20s and 30s.  Characteristics of the style include flat roofs, large glass areas, plain white walls, and an emphasis on the use of steel and concrete as building materials. a style of architecture that began in Europe between 1920 and 1930 as a revolt against traditional forms. It is characterized by an emphasis on functional design, large window and porch area, and strong base construction.

 Machine Art:  Term used in art history to describe the relationship that developed in the 20s and 30s linking many modern artists with the increasing role of industrial machinery in production and its influence on products and environment.  Le Corbusier expressed the concept of a house as a "machine for living".

 Mass Production:  Manufacturing based on the concept of the assembly line, where the object is moved (often by mechanized means) past the work stations of individuals who perform particular repetitive tasks.  Equipment is designed so that each step can be accomplished with a minimum  of handwork.

 Minimalism:  Art term used to describe the movements in art and design that strive for simplification and reduction of complexity.  Ideally, minimal designs use only the simple forms of cubes and spheres, plain, unornamented surfaces, and solid colors.  The products of the German firm of Braun, are closely tied to the concepts of minimalism.

 Modern:  Twentieth-century style characterized by simplicity of form, absence of decorative ornament, and emphasis on functional concerns.

 Moderne: A French word denoting the historical and stylistic term for the advanced design efforts of the 20s and 30s.  

 Prairie School:  Group of architects who developed an early form of Modernism in the American Midwest in the years between 1890 and 1914.  The early works of Frank Lloyd Wright are the best known examples of the style.  Strove for an organic union of strong, simple forms.  An honesty of expression in workmanship and materials.

 Secession:  Austrian art movement centered in Vienna founded in 1897.  A splinter group of modernists at the Vienna Academy who protested the conservative views at that time.  Important individuals in this group consisted of Joseph Hoffman, Joseph Olbrich,  Kolo Moser and Otto Wager, all architects as well as the painter Gustav Klimt.  Known as "rectilinear Art Nouveau" due to its more restrained and geometrical characteristics of that style.

 Streamlining:  Widely used term for design work in which concepts of Aerodynamics (having a shape or body that offers the least possible resistance to air or water) are applied to products based on those first developed for aircraft. At first, streamlining was most often applied to moving vehicles, such as locomotives, automobiles and ships.  Later it was used for less logical objects---furniture, office machines, toasters, clocks, and radios. 

 Surrealism:  A modern movement in painting, sculpture, literature, motion pictures, and other forms of art, that tries to show what takes place in dreams and in the subconscious mind. Surrealism is characterized by unexpected arrangements and distortions of images. Dadaism was a school of determinedly impromptu expression evolving into the more rigidly formulated doctrines of surrealism.

 Werkbund:  One of a number of organizations set up during the 1900-1930 period to promote excellence in design in German-speaking countries.  The Deutscher Werkbund became the model for similar organizations in Switzerland (Schweitzer Werkbund), and Austria (Ostereichischer Werkbund) as well as in other cities.  All were loosely related and all shared the common goal of encouraging the development of design in the modern direction.

 Wiener Werkstatte:  Organization of craft workers established in Vienna in 1903 to promote and distribute work of high design quality in the style established by the Secession movement of a few years earlier.  Employed more than 100 craftsmen who produced designs by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser and others.  The organization closed in 1932 as a result of financial difficulties.  Werkstatte products included leatherwork, jewelry, metal objects, and furniture.

Almost verbatim from the "Dictionary of 20th Century Design" by John Pile ( a very helpful resource book for the study of modern design)

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