Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Brussels Art Nouveau, 1

For Saturday morning we had booked a tour of Brussels art nouveau that gets you inside three different sites. The focus was on architect Viktor Horta who (?!) is here considered the father of Art Nouveau. He invented it in 1893, just after inventing sliced bread, by using metal as the structural underpinning of his work, thus opening his structures to space and light. So our guide said. Later in the tour she also mentioned MacIntosh, Gaudi, and some people in Vienna, omitting a few others who might have been involved in Art Nouveau. Personally, I thought the tour erred very much on the side of architecture. At best. Despite the promise of getting you inside. But we did see three structures and their insides.
Just walking around, you can see plenty of art
nouveau in Brussels; here, the very famous
Old England building, in the royal district

Here, exiting the gift shoppe of the Royal Museums

Nice interior

Beautiful stairwell and elevator

Originally a British insurance company office (!)

Our first stop on the tour, the Autriche House,
Horta's first commission, actually pre-Art
Nouveau, our guide explained

Rather little art nouveau on the inside

Muy famoso, however

Whiplash mosaic

The last tenants had interesting tastes

Art Nouveau at the bottom; only; that's about it

Moving right along; we are in the suburb of  Schaerbeek; this is the
entrance to the Schaerbeek beer museum; I am wondering what art
nouveau beer might have tasted like...

And now we are entering Schaerbeek's PS #1, built in Art
Nouveau style in 1907, and still a functioning public school...
pre-school through elementary

Entry ceiling

It was thought that exposing children to art was a good thing

Art Nouveau; certainly confounds the notion that art nouveau
was a thing only for the wealthy; these are publicly-funded
public schools

The grand hall..not the gym, as we thought, but a grand gathering
place; the classrooms are in adjacent buildings


Grand Hall and pre-school equipment

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

That's quite a contrast between the plastic slides and the grand facades!