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Art Nouveau and the Social Vision of Modern Living. Belgian Artists in a European Context, 2001, 256 p., 8 pl. coul., rel. -

Art Nouveau and the Social Vision of Modern Living considers the roles of primitivism and nationalism in Belgian Art Nouveau architecture and design. Belgium was an early and vital center of Art Nouveau, a movement that flourished throughout Europe in the late nineteenth century. Best known for the urban projects and structural innovations, Belgian designers also adapted the vernacular and rustic decorative arts and crafts, and particularly the country cottage, as models for modern living. This study contextualizes the architecture and decorative arts produced in Belgium between 1880 and 1910 within contemporary discussions on solutions to housing and living in the modern era. It examines how the image of the country was tied to a patrimony of handmade goods, the housing traditions of the peasant, and the modernity of the garden city - issues that were debated and tested throughout Europe at the turn of the century.
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