Art Nouveau never really had much purchase in the United States, and there are virtually no examples of it in Harlem. This pendant, with the date 1891, on a (now) storage warehouse on 126th Street, is about as close as you get.
Thanks to the contemporary owners who had the medallion painted so sympathetically.
One of the big disappointments of American aesthetic trends is that this country never caught Art Nouveau fever in the late 19th century. Yes, we have Tiffany, but any keen observer in NYC is hard-pressed to list more than a handful of Art Nouveau treasures in the 5 boroughs.
Here in Harlem, where so much of the cityscape was built during peak Art Nouveau in Europe, it’s rare to find even a touch of the organic design style.
All of this is to say that The Marcelle – at 2013 5th Avenue – is a rara avis, a brownstone with a subtle Art Nouveau twist.
If you take a careful look at the brownstone work above the central arch, you’ll see a beautiful rendering of AD 1888, but also the name of the building, in fluid/organic font.
What many may miss, however, is that what appears to be rusticated stone surrounding the date and name, is not actually rusticated stone. It’s a very subtle bas relief of olives and olive branches – often a symbol of fecundity, the harvest, and riches.
Take a look sometime, just north of Marcus Garvey Park, and see if you can make out the olives and olive branches.
Today: Mexican Muralism and its American Impact
Panel Discussion with Q&A The American Academy of Arts and Letters 633 West 155th Street Friday, January 28, 10 am To attend in person, register via Eventbrite
To view the presentation LIVE on ZOOM, register via Drawing America
Unveiling the gift of José Clemente Orozco drawings from Michael and Salma Wornick to the Hispanic Society. Film still provided by Savona Bailey-McClain, West Harlem Art Fund.
A panel discussion led by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund. Panelists include:
Esther Adler, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA
Leon Tovar, Principal, Leon Tovar Gallery, NYC
Dr. Orlando Hernández-Ying, Rockefeller Brothers Fund Curatorial Research Fellow for the Hubert & Mireille Goldschmidt Works on Paper Fellowship, Hispanic Society Museum & Library
With remarks from: Dr. Marcus B. Burke, Senior Curator, Paintings, Drawings, and Metalworks, Hispanic Society Museum & Library
War dominated the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe. New political ideologies — socialism and communism, also added tensions. Art responded by turning its focus onto the common man and woman in natural and urban environments.
The Americas were impacted as well with cries for change. In Mexico, a ten-year revolution offered an opportunity for Mexico to acknowledge its pre-Hispanic past with a new blended population. Art became the medium to spark emotions and share with pride epic tales of how this blended world was to take shape.
The Mexican Muralism Movement embraced European traditions of drawing and frescoes with social realism and new aesthetics that swept into North America. Our panel will discuss these impacts and the artists whose mark still moves us today.
To view the presentation LIVE via ZOOM, Please register via Drawing America