Designer: Henry van de Velde (Belgian, Antwerp 1863–1957 Zurich)
Manufacturer: Theodor Muller
Date: ca. 1902
Dimensions: 4 1/8 x 14 in. (10.5 x 35.6 cm)
Credit Line: Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2000
Accession Number: 2000.350
The Belgian architect/designer van de Velde lived in Weimar, Germany, from 1899 to 1917. There, his work absorbed aspects of the German Jugendstil, or "youth style," which took its name from the popular illustrated magazine Jugend that was published in Munich at the turn of the century. Jugendstil was contemporaneous with and related to Art Nouveau, though its most innovative designers replaced the exuberance and naturalism characteristic of French and Belgian design with a comparatively restrained and abstract aesthetic. Forms and decorative motifs, while thoroughly integrated, often were treated in a linear or geometric manner that rendered their relation to nature almost unrecognizable. Theodor Müller, court jeweler to the duke of Saxe-Weimar, made this jardinière; its handles are hinged, probably to allow the removal of either a liner or a plant.