Art Nouveau exhibit in Canberra, Australia – until 17 March 2019


The exhibition features eight Tiffany lamps, seven of which have been generously lent to the NGA. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s lamp designs are prime examples of the Art nouveau style and embody his belief that art and everyday objects were connected.

A selection of prints from plants also reveals the almost endless decorative possibilities that can be derived directly from nature. The publication was produced under the direction of Eugéne Grasset, a teacher, artist and pioneer of Art nouveau. A page with delicately drawn botanical illustration of a plant is followed by examples of that plant interpreted into an array of decorative designs and motifs. It includes examples of how these ornamental interpretations could be applied to decorative objects such as fabrics, ceramics, wallpapers, furniture and metalwork.

Inspired by the inexhaustible forms of the natural world, often incorporating motifs derived from flora and fauna, Art Nouveau is richly decorative, typified by graceful organic forms and curvilinear and undulating lines.

The graphic arts flourished at this time and it was by way of advertising posters, periodicals, illustrative books and playbills that Art nouveau reached a mass audience and gained widespread appeal. The display also includes posters created by the celebrated artists Emmanuel Orazi and Alphonse Mucha, which capture the spirit of Art nouveau.