Ah, fall, how we’ve missed you. Breezes are cool and crisp, the leaves are turning, and it’s finally time to bring our favorite sweaters, jackets, and boots back into rotation. We love this time of year!
For fall 2013, Pantone introduced a rich color palette of saturated tones, anchored by their color of the year, emerald. Jewel tones are typically seen for fall, but this specific selection of colors made us think of one of our favorite jewelry periods, Art Nouveau. A reaction against the many historicist movements swirling through the 19th century, such as Neoclassicism and Etruscan Revival, Art Nouveau reveled in whiplash curves and naturalistic imagery.
Alphonse Mucha, born in 1860 in what’s now the Czech Republic, is probably Art Nouveau’s most recognized artist. As an illustrator, he created striking advertising posters that captured the lively spirit of Art Nouveau.
Several times during his career, Mucha painted female figures representing the four seasons. We were struck by how many of Pantone’s fall 2013 colors we discovered in his two variations of “Automne”, so we paired them with our favorite Art Nouveau, turn-of-the-century, and Heirloom jewels.
Gustav Klimt, stands next to Mucha as the second patron saint of Art Nouveau. Born in 1863 in Austria, he was the forerunner of the Vienna Secession, a movement which utilized the decadent, curvilinear patterns of Art Nouveau to “secede” from the mainstream art establishment. There’s a reason why you hung a poster of “The Kiss” on your dorm room wall in college. His sinuous female figures and textured landscapes perfectly captured the emotional upheaval of the end of the 19th century and continue to resonate.
The delicately enameled face that centers our festoon necklace reminds us of Sarah Bernhardt and could come straight out of a Klimt painting. We love it paired with emeralds or sapphires for contrast.
Here in New York, you have many opportunities to discover Art Nouveau. At the Metropolitan Museum, you can see the Wisteria Dining Room, a complete Art Nouveau period room with dreamy peacock wallpaper and custom designed furniture, originally from a Parisian home built between 1910-14. The Met also has a varied collection of Art Nouveau decorative arts, including ceramics, glass, and of course, jewelry.
Further downtown, the Financial District’s Old New York Evening Post Building, built in 1906-07, is considered one of America’s finest Art Nouveau buildings. Also, a must-see is the sumptuous interior of the New Amsterdam Theater, built in 1903, and now owned by Disney. Paris, schmaris, we say!