Emerging from the influence of European academic art came the Art Nouveau era of the late 1800s, and with it a powerful decorative symbolism that still resonates today.
The term art nouveau was first coined in Belgium to describe the work of the Société Des Vingt, or Society of Twenty— a group of artists advocating unanimity between the fine arts of painting and sculpture and the so-called lesser decorative arts. Inspired heavily by natural forms and structures, the movement grew to influence design and architecture styles until the late 19th century.
Art Nouveau was one of the most radical eras in art history today, devoted to incorporating art into every aspect of life, from textiles to utensils. Art Nouveau thrived on the rapid expansion of technology during the industrial age, serving the purpose to bring meaning and craftsmanship to mass production.
Today, millennials have been born at the start of what now could arguably be considered a society that breathes technology. Although possibly not as revolutionary as the artists of the Art Nouveau era, many millennials (including myself) would easily admit an unquenchable thirst to return to the simplicity of nature without abandoning tech entirely.
With the societal turbulence of 2016 coming to a peak with the upcoming presidential change, I can admit my desire for a revolution of sorts. Will millennials lean towards the arts and art history to give deeper meaning to our fast-paced routines? As quality suffers for the sake of quantity in almost every realm, many of us are left with a deeper appreciation for the careful detail and hard work placed into tokens from the past.
Art has a way of slowing things down to create a value that is timeless, hiding within it stories of both cultural struggles and transformations. Taken with my smartphone are images of my personal collection of Art Nouveau— each piece creating a distinct mark on history as I have come to know it.
Inspired by vintage art? Learn more about our current vintage circus art inspired contest for jazz musician Drew Nugent.
Madelaine Pierce is the Community Manager for Creative Allies.
Employee and Guest Blogs are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.