Joseph Maria Olbrich

Like Josef Hoffmann Olbrich worked in the office of Otto Wagner in Vienna from 1894, becoming chief assistant in 1896. in 1897 he was involved in founding the Secession, and his design for the Secession Building, begun 1898, announced the importance of the classicism in Viennese fin -de -siecle architecture. in 1899 he was invited to join the artists’ colony at Darmstadt, where he designed a series of houses, studios and galleries. Olbrich helped set up the Deutsche Werkbund in Munich in 1907.

Hermann Obrist

Swiss-German designer. Perhaps the pivotal figure in the development of Jugendstil in Munich, Obrist encountered the Arts and Crafts Movement when travelling in Britain in 1887, where he trained as a ceramicist. His work gained a gold medal at the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. Following his move to Munich in 1894, Obrist came to prominence in 1896 with an exhibition of thirty -five embroideries that exemplified his abstract approach to nature in art. A founder of the Munich Vereinigte Werkstatten fur Kunst im Handwork in 1897, he was also a prolific writer and teacher. His ideas about abstraction influenced the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky.

William Morris

English designer, writer and socialist. Trained as an architect, Morris mixed in Pre -Raphaelite circles before founding his own firm in 1861, which became Morris & Co in 1875. Through his ideas on utility and beauty in design, coupled with his socialist principles, he became the defining figure of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He drew on medieval motifs and designed furniture, stained glass, wallpaper and fabrics. His use of stylised flora] and organic forms in his patterns was influential in the evolution of Art Nouveau, and his ideas on the primacy of craftsmanship also had resonance for many Art Nouveau artists. However, his deep distrust of modernity, encapsulated in his novel News from Nowhere (1890) seemed retrograde to those who sought to exploit new materials and modern methods of production.

Louis Majorelle

French designer. Majorelle took over his family’s cabinet -making business in Nancy in 1879, where he continued the firm’s production of Neo -Rococo furniture. Influenced by Emile Galle he developed a style characterized by heavy abstracted organic carving embellished with gilt -bronze mounts. in the 1890s he worked with Daum Freres to produce lamps and vases. His furniture was well received at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition, and the years around this time represented the height of his achievement. He turned to mechanised production after 1908, but his factory was destroyed in World War 1.

Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo

English architect and designer. Mackmurdo studied at oxford and was a disciple of John Ruskin. He was a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement, yet, like Waiter Crane, his work also contained the seeds of Art Nouveau. His designs for wallpaper and textiles, together with his chairs for the Century Guild, display the flowing linear style of Art Nouveau. The Century Guild, of which he was a founding member, ceased its activities in 1892, and he gradually turned towards classical architecture.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh & Margaret MacDonald

Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, designer and painter who worked closely with his wife, the painter and designer Margaret MacDonald, whom he met at the Glasgow School of Art He was taken on by the architects Honeyman and Keppie in 1888, where he met the artist Herbert MacNair. Mackintosh developed an individual style with symbolist overtones. In 1894 he exhibited with MacNair , MacDonald an her sister Frances for the first time. Mackintosh is best remembered today for his post -1895 work, beginning with the Glasgow School of Art (begun 1896) and followed by tea rooms for Catherine Cranston. Mackintosh and MacDonald also received decorative commissions, the most celebrated being the Hill House (1902 -4) in Helensburgh. His success declined in the years after 1905.

Arthur Lasenby Liberty

English merchant. In 1875 Liberty opened his first shop, Fast India House, on Regent Street in London. His imported Oriental wares helped define the fashionable Aesthetic taste in London. Liberty’s also stocked Arts and Crafts goods. In 1890 a Paris branch of his shop opened. The company both sold and produced English Art Nouveau objects, most notably the ‘Cymric’ and ‘Tudric’ ranges by designers including Archibald Knox. Liberty also introduced continental Art Nouveau to London shoppers, stocking such objects as chairs by Richard Riemerschmid and ceramics by the Hungarian firm Zsolnay.

Rene Lalique

French ieweller. Lalique trained in Paris and London, and in 1885 took over the workshop of the Parisian jeweller Jules d’Estape. He embarked on a career that revolutionized jewellery design, rejecting traditional materials such as diamonds in favour of vividly coloured gemstones. Motifs such as nymphs and flowers were typical of Lalique’s Art Nouveau work, and his clients included the actress Sarah Bernhardt. In 1898 he began glassmaking, which gradually replaced jewellery as the focus of his talent. His glassware came to embody the flamboyant 1920s Art Deco style.

Gustav Klimt

Austrian painter and designer. Klimt opened a studio in 1883 after training at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna. His early paintings were academic in style, but he became increasingly influenced by Symbolism, provoking bitter criticisms from Vienna’s artistic establishment. Klimt was one of the founders of the Secession in 1897, becoming the group’s first president; he also set up the journal Ver Sacrum. The Beethouen Frieze, painted in 1902 to decorate the Secession Building, signalled an even more stylised aesthetic. Klimt remained a prominent figure in the Secession until he resigned in 1905. He was associated with the Wiener Werkstatte, his most notable contribution being his friezes for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels designed by Josef Hoffmann in 1905-11.

Victor Horta

Belgian architect. After studying in Ghent and Brussels, Horta joined the office of the architect Alphonse Balat. In 1890 he set up his own firm, and in 1893 designed what is widely regarded as the first architectural expression of mature Art Nouveau, Tassel house in Brussels. The innovative use of exposed ironwork and open-plan space characterised Horta’s style. A series of houses in Brussels consolidated his reputation, perhaps the most spectacular being a house for Baron van Eetvelde (1895 -7). Like many artists in Brussels, Horta had socialist leanings and between 1896 and 1899 he built the Maison du Peuple, a complex of shops, Offices and halls for the Belgian Worker’s Party. His Brussels department store A L’Innovation (1901) demonstrated the suitability of Art Nouveau for retail buildings. His work after 1903 was less adventurous and made use 0f classical forms.

Josef Hoffmann

Austrian architect and designer. Hoffmann studied under Otto Wagner in Vienna, and in 1896 began working in his office. He joined the Secession in 1897 and became a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna in 1899. He was initially attracted to the sweeping decoration of Jugendstil, however, his style soon became more geometric. In 1903 Hoffmann set up the Wiener Werkstatte, to which he contributed a vast range of furniture, metalwork, glass, ceramics and textile designs. He also provided the backbone of its architectural practice. His best -known buildings were the Purkersdorf Sanatorium outside Vienna (1904 -6) and the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (1905 -11) one of the last great Art Nouveau Gesamtkunstwerk.

Hector Guimard

French architect and designer. Guimard studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs and the Ecole des Beaux -Arts in Paris. He then embarked on an architectural career that produced some of the most innovative buildings of Art Nouveau. The influence of Eugene -Emmanuel Viollet -le -Duc was apparent in his use of ironwork, and his designs for the new Paris Metro stations of 1900 combined daring linear forms with industrial methods of construction. Guimard also designed a number of houses during this period, as well as a range of furniture and objects that reflected the contrast between his abstract flowing style and the more figurative Art Nouveau of Nancy. In later years Guimard was uncomfortable with Modernism. He left France for the United States in 1939.