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Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau

Please note that the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau is not currently on display at the Centre.

The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau is considered one of the most important private collections of Art Nouveau in the UK.

Sir Colin and Lady Anderson were among the first British collectors of Art Nouveau. The first pieces were bought in 1960, the last in 1971. They were particularly drawn to exquisitely coloured pieces that epitomised the style with whiplash curves, botanical lines and floral motifs.

The collection comprises of 200 works and encompasses examples of European and American Art Nouveau from about 1890 to 1905, and includes furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and graphics.

The Collection

The collection includes pieces by leading exponents of Art Nouveau such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Emile Gallé and René Lalique, and significantly, other anonymous commercial pieces, giving the collection a wonderfully individual character and offers an opportunity for an exploration of Art Nouveau as both design and manufacture.

Art Nouveau

The term Art Nouveau is used to describe a group of national styles that flourished in Europe and America between 1890 and 1905. The collection dates predominately from this period and most fully represents the French exponents of Art Nouveau associated with the Ecole de Nancy.

Art Nouveau was popularised by Siegfried Bing, who in 1895 opened a gallery in Paris called Galerie L'Art Nouveau and the style swept across Europe in a matter of a few years. Bing showed work from Belgium, Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia as Art Nouveau developed as a number of separate movements that shared a common vision, that coalesced into a recognisable style.

The roots of this ornamental style, which was also called Liberty Style in Great Britain, Jugendstil in Germany and Secession in Central Eastern Europe, traces back to the English Arts and Crafts Movement but also to the influence of Japan.