Edward Colonna (18621948), for L'Art Nouveau Bing, Paris
Palissander wood, damask upholstery; 35 1/4 x 16 7/8 x 15 in. (89.5 x 42.9 x 38.1 cm)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1926 (26.228.5)
Siegfried Bing's artist-designers were all distinguished contributors to the development of European Art Nouveau, but his sojourn in America to investigate and report on the decorative arts had given him the vision to range farther afield in his search for designers. Colonna, who had been in the United States since 1882, was recruited by Bing along with Louis Sullivan and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Bing's venture was extensively reported in design and decoration periodicals, and the display at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 was regarded as a triumph for his gallery and its designers. For that display, Colonna created a salon complete with furniture and all its decoration, including this elegant chair, which expresses the essence of Art Nouveau without any of the excess of ornament sometimes employed.