This afternoon, Professor Eric Goldemberg brought twelve FIU school of architecture students in for an orientation and a survey of a few Art Nouveau masterpieces in the Wolfsonian library collection. Over the course of the semester, the students will be looking at, sketching, and photographing specific objects in the museum collection with the aim of creating geometric repeating patterns for use in their 3D modeling projects.

In preparation for this visit, the tables in the main reading room were laid out with a sampling of Art Nouveau publications including the Viennese periodical Der Architekt.

Also there for the students to see were numerous oversized plates from a portfolio documenting the designs for pavilion exteriors and interiors and furnishings created for the Esposizione internazionale d’arte decorativa moderna held in Turin, Italy in 1902.

Of greater interest to the professor and students, however, were some of the more “generic” art nouveau items on the tables, such as various plates from Gustav Kolb and Karl Gmelich’s Von der Pflanze zum Ornament.

Published by Jllig & Müller in Göppingen in 1902, this portfolio details the process by which plants and flower forms could be stylized and reproduced as pleasing repetitive decorative patterns and motifs for use in books, calendars, and other printed materials.


Many of these images have just been digitized and made available via our online catalog thanks in large part to the diligent work of library volunteer Richard Hoberman. After many years of service as Chair of the Miami Design Preservation League, Mr. Hoberman has come out of retirement several days a week to help us create metadata links to images being made by Digital Library Specialist David Almeida. Their combined efforts over the last couple of months have significantly augmented the number of digital surrogates now available on our OPAC (online public access catalog). Examples include the entire set of portfolio plates for Hector Guimard’s Le Castel Béranger (published in Paris, 1898) as well as all of the plates from Neubauten in Brussel (published in Berlin by Ernst Wasmuth in 1900).

Many more of these important architectural titles will be coming on-line soon, so continue to check back in on our work-in-progress.

~ by "The Chief" on September 8, 2011.


  1. Good Block to renew our interest in the “New Art”, and learn about the historic meaning of this concep. Congratulations!

  2. Great initiative! Art Nouveau is back again….

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