The Art Nouveau movement (1890-1910) was, in a sense, a breath of fresh air. For artists and architects it was a return to nature after the Industrial Revolution brought everyone indoors. The jewelry created during this time featured floral, elegant designs, with bright enamel work, natural river pearls and delicate details, all of which makes these lovely pieces perfect for celebrating warmer weather.
The fabulous jewelers at the time, such as Rene Lalique and Alphonse and Georges Fouquet, crafted pieces shaped like insects and flowers. Inspired by the Greek muses, ladies with long hair and flowing dresses were also a popular motif, all embellished with swirling, vine-like designs.
We love coming across these Art Nouveau pieces, and not just because wearing them can make you feel like you’re in a Toulouse-Lautrec print. They’re gorgeously made and the color palate is wonderful for spring.
An interesting fact: it is very difficult to find Art Nouveau earrings. This is because it became stylish to let one’s hair down, so to speak, for a more natural look. With ears hidden, it made more sense to fashion rings, brooches and pendants for self-adornment.
So, as we celebrate the last lovely spring days in New York, let you hair down and your inner Art Nouveau lady out. And, if you can’t make it outside, here are some great examples of Art Nouveau artworks in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection.