the German-speaking version
of the Art Nouveau Style
In 1896, in Munich (Germany) a cultural magazine "Die Jugend" (meaning Youth) created by Georg Hirth was actively promoting a "new style" (Stil in German) in art and many local artists were participating in this effort to fight against the tradition.
The sucess of the initiative was such that this new way of life was called
"JUGENDSTIL" or "Style of the Youth".
This new style was contemporary of the Art Nouveau style and the other related styles that were expanding everywhere in Europe. Throughout the years, JUGENDSTIL has become the usual term to designate the Art Nouveau style which developed in Germany and Austria during those years.
Many important companies as WMF have contributed to export and make known all over the world this style, combining decorative motives as the feminine figure (usually represented entwined in long hair and soft dresses) and austere geometric patterns.
Other less known companies were very much involved with Jugendstil, such as:
"AK & CIE" for Albert Köhler u. Cie;
ORION Kunstgewerbliche Metallwarenfabrik;
J.P. Kayser & Sohn AG;
OSIRIS - Walter Scherf & Co;
B&G IMPERIAL ZINN
On the architectural side, the Jugendstil has produced numerous wonderful buildings in Darmstadt, Dresden, Munich and Frankfurt and among the Jugendstil architects we can remember:
the Belgian Henri Clemens VAN DE VELDE,
Josef Maria OLBRICH,
Many other artists and designers have also contributed in a important way to the Jugendstil, such as:
Hugo LEVEN ;
JUGENDSTIL greatly influenced neibouring countries like The Netherlands, where a "typical Jugendstil company" was founded under the name: URANIA.
In Austria, JUGENDSTIL developed also in various ways, mainly under the effect of the VIENNESE SECESSION and of the WIENER WERKSTÄTTE.
Major Tableware works:
- Hugo LEVEN's pewter candlestick
- Josef Maria OLBRICH's Candelabra
- ORIVIT Little floral tray
- the Lady with a twin dish in pewter by Albert MAYER for WMF
- the Jugendstil mirror with a lady in pewter also by Albert MAYER for WMF.