This section of the museum exhibits the “new art” style of decoration began in Europe and America in the late 1890s and continued through the early 1930s. It was a rebellion against the old repetitious designs of the industrial revolution and lingering Victorian traditions. Art Nouveau was inspired by nature and Japanese art. Organic forms, sensuous curving lines, vibrant iridescence, and a general feeling of lightness are hallmarks of the movement.
The name “Art Nouveau” came from the Parisian gallery owner, Samuel Bing, who called his pavilion “L'Art Nouveau.” Bing was the first to recognize and exhibit the works of these avant-garde artists, which included the American, Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Tiffany, already known for his stained glass windows, became a leader in the movement when he opened his glass factory in Corona, New York. His blown glass designs were modeled after organic forms and ancient artifacts. The other glass companies who followed Tiffany’s lead were the Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Company, the Steuben Glass Works, the A. Douglas Nash Corporation, the Durand Art Glass division of the Vineland Flint Glass Works, and several smaller ventures.