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France: center of inspiration for european ceramists
Centerpiece by René Meynial, slipcast diameter 49cm approx. 1930

The Art Nouveau period at the beginning of the 20th century, was inspiring for many artists in Europe. Collector & art dealer Siegfried Bing  (1838-1905), owner of the  "Art Nouveau Gallery" was a promotor of asian arts in Paris, where many artists were inspired by the ceramics, woodblock prints, lacquerware, sculpture and metalwork from Japan. Key figures were: René Lalique, Emile Gallé, & Hector Guimard.

The Art Deco style was a reaction to return to simpler, geometric forms and a certain rigidity characterized this period. Still most objects were only accessible to the rich. But industrialization soon allowed mass production (slipcast techniques) and for the first time in history, designs by famous artists became available to a large audience.

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