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From 1850 to today art design has fluctuated a lot, sometimes we were influenced for longer, other times for just a short period. Each period seemed to overlap just a bit as we started to transition into a new one


From 1850 to 1915, with a height in 1880 – 1910, was an aesthetic movement by the British and American. The movement was inspired by John Ruskin’s writings and it influenced just about everything from architecture and cabinet making, to garden designs. It had many known practitioners including William Morris and Walter Crane. During the movement many considered machines to be evil and made handcrafted everything.


From 1880 – 1910 a style known as Art Nouveau became popular. It included many natural designs such as flowing and stylized floral motifs.

Many plant-derived forms are in Art Nouveau that seem to sprout from moldings, also used in this period were whiplash lines, paraboles, and hyperboles. Those that practiced Art Nouveau didn’t detest machines as Arts and Crafts did; in fact, they used them to their advantage. Art Nouveau is considered to be a “total style”, meaning that its versatility allows it to be used in just about everything.


From 1880 – 1940 was the modern age for art, they had more realistic views. Modernist rejects things such as motif and focused more on emphasizing geometric designs.


From 1910 – 1945 was the first art form to be managed more like a business. The age was obviously driven by forwarding thought; it was widely influenced by Marinetti, a typography that abandoned traditional grammar and punctuation. The movement was led by the mechanism of war.


From 1910 – 1940 Art Deco was the popular art design of the time. It affected everything from architecture to interior design and was, in a sense, a fusion of many different styles and designs. It was at the peak of popularity in the 20s. It was a purely decorative designed that was embraced by Hollywood in full.


From 1920 – 1934 Bauhaus was in style. Named after a German school that was open from 1919 – 1933, the meaning of the name is “Architecture House.” Bauhaus art has a profound effect on the world; it influenced many developments in art and design, including architecture and typography. So of the most recognized works of Bauhaus art are buildings at Weimar and Dessau.


From 1925 – 1930 surrealism was an interesting art form, to say the least, the idea of it was to free you of what surrealists say as false logic.

The art was seen as something that didn’t conform to normalcy but was supposed to surprise you and intrigue you.


From 1930 – 1950 streamlining was the mainstream. As a branch of Art Deco, it embraced curved and lines all in one, along with some very nautical elements. It reached its height in 1937 and was used in many kitchen appliances along with being incorporated into electrical lighting.


Organic Design was popular from 1930 – 1960 and again from 1990 – present day. Organic Design promotes harmony between mankind and Mother Nature through its design approach. It’s very influenced by nature; one of the most well-known pieces is Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania.


From 1935 – present day Scandinavian Modern is an extremely popular style; it represents the idea that functional and beautiful pieces be affordable for all. One store that promotes the idea on a large scale is IKEA, a Scandinavian furniture store.


From 1958 – 1972 Pop Art was a major movement with themes and characteristics from comics and advertising. During the time period that it was so popular, it quickly influenced the furniture industry, which designed lively and colorful pieces to reflect the culture of it.

Many developments in materials were made during the period as was the use of plastic materials. Pop Art became a large part of many things including television and music.


From 1967 – 1978 was trending, Minimalism is exactly what it sounds like. A design that is stripped down to its most functional a minimal form. Influenced largely by Japanese traditions, the movement was started in New York it encouraged simplicity.


From 1978 – present-day Post Modernism comes from the ideas of Modernism but is also very critical of it. It rejects the negative vibes that modernism can send, turning against the hostility to embrace decoration.


From 1981 – 1988 Memphis designs were influenced by all kinds of movements both past and present. Memphis designs are bold and brash, embracing colors and shocking many, while not generally described as “tasteful” the designs were certainly a shock to culture when they first appeared.