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LA MAISON BING ART NOUVEAU biography by Senses-ArtNouveau.com

Siegfried BING


Art Collector and Dealer

German naturalized French in 1876, Siegfried Bing (later called Samuel Bing) was the founder in 1895 of " La Maison de l'Art Nouveau " in Paris : it was his art gallery and exhibition hall that gave its name to the famous artistic Style Art Nouveau.


Siegfried Bing was an innovative Art collector but also an inspired and visionary Art dealer.
In 1895 he opened in Paris, the pioneer city for art, culture and innovation, his company and gallery "La Maison Bing". He wanted to show and defend the applied and decorative arts and he started exhibiting the avant-garde work of contemporary artists, such as :
Camille Claudel, Fernand Khnopff, William Degouves de Nuncques, Constantin Meunier, Edward Munch, Auguste Rodin, Victor Rousseau, Paul Signac, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Félix Vallotton, Henri van de Velde, Théo Van Rysselberghe, Edouard Vuillard.

La Maison Bing

Siegfried Bing began his career as a collector of Japanese Art and he played an important role in the diffusion of the Asian Art among Art Nouveau artists, as well as among many artists representing other Styles, such as the Symbolists, the Neo and Post-Impressionists and later the Expressionists.

Around 1894, Bing was organizing art salons, workshops and exhibitions for contemporary artists and decorative designers. He followed by showing furniture, art works, paintings and sculptures all in the same exhibition hall: La Maison Bing / the Bing House.

The Bing House in Paris

By 1895, the name of the Gallery was known as L'ART NOUVEAU - LA MAISON BING. Siegfried Bing aimed to enhance and develop in particular the emerging, innovative and modern Art Nouveau style. This new artistic style included fine arts, applied arts and interior decoration and represented the original concept of the "total work of art", harmoniously aiming to the abolition of ranks of value between the different types of arts. In his gallery " L' Art Nouveau - Maison Bing " he then exhibited and sold contemporary works, furniture, glass wares, ceramics, jewelry, such as glass works of Tiffany or ceramics and jewelry of Henri van de Velde.

Tiffany Glass work Ceramics plate with Art Nouveau motive
Detail of Art Nouveau Furniture by Gaillard

During the 1900 World Exhibition /Exposition Universelle in Paris, the success of the Art Nouveau and of Bing was immediate : the originality and modernity of the new style generated large public appreciation and international renown towards the art collector as well as the legendary artists and their art works he showed a during the major event of the beginning of the century.

Siegfried Bing, as well as the important Belgian designer and architect Victor Horta, with his vision and passion, was one of the founding characters of the most important artistic style of the 1900 period and he also greatly influenced the Belgian Art Nouveau Style.

Collection Etain 1900, par Senses Art Nouveau

See our Belgian Art Nouveau Collection

The beginning of XXth century was a world wide active artistic period of splendor and new creative ideas and styles... it was the "Belle Epoque"! Inspired by each others works and styles, the architects, designers and applied-art artists of the time created unforgettable and revolutionary cultural and artistic movements:

- Art Nouveau in Belgium and in France, by well known artist such as Victor Horta, Henri van de Velde, Emile Gallé, Louis Majorelle, Hector Guimard;
- Jugendstil, Secession, Wiener Werkstaette, in Germany and Austria, by Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann and Josef Olbrich;
- Arts and Crafts in the United Kingdom, by William Morris.

EXHIBITION 2006: L'ART NOUVEAU - LA MAISON BING - Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts,Brussels

Links to Exhibitions on ART NOUVEAU:

- "L'ART NOUVEAU - LA MAISON BING "- Exhibition on Art Nouveau, from 17 March to 23 July 2006 - Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts à Brussels (Belgium) : www.expo-bing.be

- "Expo Bing" - Exhibition on the origins of Art Nouveau, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (The Netherlands), in 2004/2005 : Expo Bing - Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam

Links to Articles on BING and ART NOUVEAU:

- Tastemaking in the Age of Art Nouveau: The Role of Siegfried Bing

- Decoration for S. Bing's Maison de l'Art Nouveau

- Bing's Merchandising of Japonisme and Art Nouveau

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