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Posts tagged ‘Arts and Crafts’

Exuberant Hungarian: The Art of Matthias Church, Budapest

Art Historians are very good about categorizing art.  Everything gets organized into bucket of a particular period or movement, but throughout Hungary, I just found the usual labels to be lacking.  While Magyar art and design of the late 19th century draws from several sources, the result is so much more than simple Historicism repeating old designs.  They created something unique and truly amazing.  It just really resonated with me and so I had to give this style its own name: Exuberant Hungarian.  I absolute fell for the Matthias Church in Budapest, with its wild but totally coherent decorative scheme.  Take a look and tell me if you’ve ever seen anything like this before, and whether or not you think the “Exuberant Hungarian” moniker fits.

Arts & Crafts lamb door

An incredible mix of color and pattern at the Matthias Church, Budapest.

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A Vision of Nature: The Designs of William Morris

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Art and Nature.  Check out all the stories below!

William Morris - Strawberry Thief

One of my favorite William Morris designs, “Strawberry Thief,” 1883 (Photo: Victoria & Albert Museum)

Nature has inspired some of the most amazing art – from the representational, majestic landscapes of the Hudson River School to the stylized, curling flowers of the Art Nouveau.  A painted landscape was one way to bring the environment back into our homes.  The Arts & Crafts movement went one step further and sought to bring the beauty of nature inside and incorporate it into our furnishings and decorations.  No one did more to turn parlors into romantic gardens like the British designer William Morris.

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Gilded Age Decorative Arts: Chicago’s Driehaus Museum

front entry Driehaus Museum

Magnificant marble front entrance to the Driehaus Museum

Nothing captures the artistic spirit of an era like a historic home.  Through a coherent assemblage of architectural elements, furniture, and decor, you can get an absolute understanding of a period’s design principles.  I recently visited the Driehaus Museum in Chicago which presents within its luxurious rooms the evolving American decorative arts of the Gilded Age.  This mansion is also a startlingly beautiful oasis in the modern business center of Chicago and definitely worth a visit!

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Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Navy Pier Chicago

Have you ever unexpectedly stumbled on something amazing while traveling?  The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is just that!  It is a free collection of art tucked into the Navy Pier in Chicago and is really a treat.

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