WHAT’S NEW WITH ART NOUVEAU?
Yesterday, FIU assistant professor of Architecture Eric Goldemberg brought thirteen of his Design 7 students up to the library for an orientation and presentation featuring some of our Art Nouveau architectural highlights. Professor Goldemberg had arranged this initial “studio visit” to familiarize the students with our holdings so that they could afterwards schedule return visits to the library to do more intensive “research on Art Nouveau.” The goal of the project, Professor Goldemberg wrote, is to “lead the students onto a first design exercise for a small exhibition satellite-pavilion for Lincoln Road.” This project will explore “issues of display, framing and layering,” and allow the students to “apply the research on ‘ornament’ generating systems for viewing architectural lenses and exploring material fabrication opportunities.” Afterwards, the students will “move on to the larger exercise” of “applying such systems” in conceptualizing and designing a new museum annex.
After receiving an overview of our architectural holdings and getting a guided tour of our current library exhibit, Unrealized Architecture, the students were brought inside to see some portfolio plates of a couple of Art Nouveau masterpieces in the library collection. Laid out on our main reading room tables were plates from Hector Guimard’s Le Castel Béranger.
Other plates came from a large format portfolio published for the Esposizione internazionale d’arte decorativa moderna, the world’s fair opening in Turin, Italy in 1902. This latter work includes color tinted illustrations of the principal exhibition building designed by Raimondo d’Aronco, and other Art Nouveau interiors designed for the exhibition pavilions by Peter Behrens (1868-1940) and Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) among other notables.
All of us at The Wolfsonian are excited to see how the students use the architectural motifs of the “New Art” and utilize this century-old aesthetic in a new and innovative way in a project to re-envision and redesign our museum warehouse.