This event has been canceled.
The stylistic term “Art Nouveau”—summoning images of distinctive whiplash lines—is most often applied to European architecture and decorative art. With the exception of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it is seldom used in relation to American design. In his lecture, Wilson will discuss how American design played a major role in the emergence of Art Nouveau in Europe.
Wilson will cover the emergence of the term Art Nouveau in the late nineteenth century and its great popularizer, Siegfried Bing and his Paris gallery of the same name. He will then look at the buildings and other objects in the United States that display Art Nouveau features. This includes the work of architect Louis Sullivan; buildings in such diverse locations as St. Louis, Pittsburgh, New York, and Iowa; and decorative art by various designers and makers.
Wilson, who was selected as fellow of The Society of Architectural Historians in 2019, holds the Commonwealth Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Wilson, a frequent lecturer for universities, museums and professional groups, has served as an advisor and commentator for several television programs on PBS, the History Channel, and A&E, including America’s Castles and American Experience. A prize-winning writer, he has also published many articles and books including: The American Renaissance (1979); McKim, Mead & White Architects (1983); The Machine Age in America (1986); The Making of Virginia Architecture (1992); Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village (1993, 2008); The University of Virginia: Campus Guide (1999); Richmond’s Monument Avenue (2001); The Society of Architectural Historians Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont (2002); The Colonial Revival House (2004); “Mysticism, Alchemy, and Architecture: Designing Laurelton Hall,” Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate (2006); Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House (2008) and Edith Wharton at Home: Life at the Mount (2012).