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Samuel Bing (1838 - 1905)

Related: Art Nouveau - Paris


Siegfried ("Samuel") Bing (1838 - 1905) was a German art dealer in Paris, who started his career by dealing in Japanese art and artworks. He then opened his own store, the Maison de l'Art Nouveau showing works of artists of what would become known as the Art Nouveau movement, named after his store. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Bing [Feb 2006]

Exhibition (2004 - 2005)

This spectacular didactic exhibition and publication were organized by the Van Gogh Museum and the Musée des Arts décoratifs, and curated by Gabriel P. Weisberg, Edwin Becker and Évelyne Possémé, with selections on Oriental art by Christine Shimizu. My first thought was to entitle this review of the show at the Van Gogh Museum "Bing's Big Bang Blossoms at the Van Gogh;" however, after rereading the catalogue, I decided to call it "Japonisme and Bing Revisited." Indeed, the very premise of the exhibition is the essential connection that existed between Japanese art/Japonisme, and the development of Bing's form of art nouveau. In fact, it was thirty years ago, in 1975, that the Cleveland Museum, The Walters Art Gallery, and the Rutgers University Art Gallery [now Zimmerli Art Museum] presented the exhibition Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on French Art, 1854–1910, and it was nineteen years ago that the Smithsonian Institution organized the traveling exhibition in the U. S., Art Nouveau Bing, Paris Style 1900. Both of these seminal projects were led by Gabriel Weisberg and assisted, as always, by his partner in life and in research, Yvonne. It is in great part due to their scholarship and perseverance that Japonisme, and now Siegfried Bing, are universally recognized as major factors in not only French art of the second half of the nineteenth century, but in much of the art of the rest of Europe and of the United States as well. --http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/autumn_05/reviews/cate.html [Jul 2006]

The Origins Of L’art Nouveau: The Bing Empire (2005) - Gabriel P. Weisberg

The Origins Of L’art Nouveau: The Bing Empire (2005) - Gabriel P. Weisberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The grand opening in 1895 of Siegfried Bing’s gallery, "L’Art Nouveau," was a major event on the Parisian calendar. For Bing, a renowned dealer in Japanese art and Europe’s leading exponent of Japonisme, the beautifully designed furnishings and objects he collected—and in many cases commissioned—fulfilled his vision of a new design aesthetic that promoted harmony and elegance. Overnight, Bing’s emporium for new art became a symbol for, and the name of, an artistic movement known around the world.

Illuminating Bing’s role as a creative entrepreneur and the principal creator of the new style, this book explores his sponsorship of Japanese art; his close ties to such painters as Bonnard, Munch, and Toulouse-Lautrec; and his collaboration with Louis Comfort Tiffany and leading design studios in America and Britain. Bing’s work as an interior decorator at the Paris World Fair of 1900 demonstrated the ability of one man to influence the arts worldwide.

The Origins of L’Art Nouveau, which features three hundred gorgeous color illustrations, reveals anew how one visionary individual shaped the tastes of a generation by effectively uniting Asian, European, and American styles, techniques, and sensibilities.

About the Author
Gabriel P. Weisberg is Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota. Edwin Becker is Exhibitions Curator at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Évelyne Possémé is Curator of the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris.

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