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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Art Nouveau frame and mirror
Date: 1902
Medium: Bronze and glass
Dimensions: 13 x 10 inches (33 x 25.4 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Isabel and William Berley, Classes of 1947 and 1945
Object Number: 99.078.109
This mirror has an Art Nouveau pattern bronze frame, featuring a woman’s face at the bottom and lily pads along the top.

This mirror was likely made in Berlin, Germany, where the sculptor Hermann Hausmann did most of his work.

This mirror features a molded bronze frame. Molding is a process of manufacturing that involves shaping a pliable or liquid material into a rigid frame or model called a mold. When the liquid (in this case, bronze) hardens it is removed, revealing a positive of the negative space of the mold.

This bronze mirror is very typical of the French Art Nouveau style. Notice the female face with eyes closed at the bottom edge; her hair encircles the frame, transforming into water lilies and the slender stems of lily pads that float at the top of the frame. The lines of the composition are wavy and undulating, and are typical of imagery found in other decorative arts objects of the period.

Art Nouveau, French for “New Art,” refers to an artistic style that was developed in Europe in the 1880s, and remained enormously popular into the first decade of the 20th century. It is characterized by whiplash curves, organic imagery and sinuous lines. The name Art Nouveau came from the Paris shop of Siegfried Bing that opened in 1895, quickly popularizing the works of artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work became synonymous with (or symbolic of) the American Art Nouveau style.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.