Henry van de Velde was a man of many talents. Born in Antwerp in 1863, Van de Velde designed all areas of life – interior design, clothing, jewelry, objects of daily use to complete houses, designing everything from the construction to the lamps, furniture, dishes and forks. Working in Weimar from 1902 to 1917, he created some of his most significant works like Bauhaus University and former School of Arts and Crafts, which now are both part of UNESCO World Heritage. A pioneer for the Art Nouveau style and the Modernist movement in Europe, Van de Velde challenged the longstanding traditions and conventions in art and design of his time. By doing this and blurring the boundaries between art and industry, the Belgian designer was able to produce a new style – which offered an alternative to the antiquated style of historicism.
Now, the city of his inspiration will mark the 150th anniversary of his birth with a major retrospective exhibition at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar (Foundation of Weimar Classics). With more than 700 works on show, the foundation will be presenting the extensive range of Henry van de Velde's artistic activity from 1890 to the end of the 1930s. In addition to highlighting important events in his life and the multifaceted phases of his artistic production, the main of focus of the exhibition is the Gesamtkunstwerk – a concept in which every artistic detail harmonises with its surroundings. Visitors will have the opportunity to see pieces never exhibited before, thanks to a large number of works loaned by private collections and museums.
The huge Passion, Function and Beauty exhibition is part of a cooperative venture between the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the Region of Erfurt-Weimar-Jena. The show will travel on to Brussels in cooperation with The Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (The Royal Museum of art and history) running from 13 September 2013 to 12 January 2014.
Passion, Function and Beauty: Henry van de Velde and his Contribution to European Modernism
24 March to 23 June 2013
Neues Museum Weimar