Henry Van de Velde
Selected Essays, 1889-1914
The first English collection of writings by Henry van de Velde, one of the most influential designers and theorists of the twentieth century. Belgian artist, architect, designer, and theorist Henry van de Velde (1863-1957) was a highly original and influential figure in Europe beginning in the 1890s. A founding member of the Art Nouveau and Jugendstil movements, he also directed the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, Germany, which eventually became the Bauhaus under Walter Gropius.This selection of twenty-six essays, translated from French and German, includes van de Velde's writings on William Morris and the English Arts and Crafts movement, Neo-Impressionist painting, and relationships between ornament, line, and abstraction in German aesthetics. The texts trace the evolution of van de Velde's thoughts during his most productive period as a theorist in the artistic debates in France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Katherine M. Kuenzli expertly guides readers to see how van de Velde's writings reconcile themes of aesthetics and function, and expression and reason, throughout the artistic periods and regions represented by these texts. With introductory discussions of each essay and full annotations, this is an essential volume for a broad range of scholars and students of the history of fine and applied arts and ideas.