The Art Nouveau Utopia

In its exhibition entitled “Art Nouveau. The Great Utopian Vision”, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg retraces an era which produced much more than playful ornamentation. Art Nouveau defined itself via reform movements, visions and Utopian dreams aimed at renewing society. The special exhibition throws light on this cultural and historical background and development. It shows reform movement robes, a solar bath for sun-worshippers, photographs of nudists playing sports in the open air or Loïe Fuller’s celebrated light dances. The arts take up the revolutionary changes affecting the private and social life of modern man, sketch new models for living and experiment with technical innovations. A constantly recurring source of inspiration is nature, especially in the applied arts. Art Nouveau also marks a hiatus for the museums of arts and crafts, which had up to then only shown examples from history. This is the period when they also begin to collect contemporary art.