Monday, November 3, 2008
The Mantel Clock in its Building
Much like a living and growing plant, the art nouveau style encompasses nature and all its "hand crafted" beauty. The art nouveau style mantel clock made by Josef Maria Olbrich, an 1899 hand crafted artifact, has its place in a building just as each plant has it's place in a forest. The mantel clock's style is simple and organic, with soft curves and hardly any ornamentation. It makes a simple statement about its purpose, as does the room it belongs in. The dining room it was placed in does not have a lot of baubles, but states it purpose with only necessary objects. The mantel clock meshes with the room, and is a part of the living plant. It must also become a part of the building.
The building in which the mantel clock belongs in is not highly ornamented, and it speaks clear in it's purpose. It is clear where the front door is, and how tall it is, where the rooms are, and what material it is constructed with, all from it's front facade. Inside, the circulation is clear and organized, and everything inside is connected, much like a living vine. Just as plants have a system of growth and life, the building and objects within it do too. The mantel clock's place in the building is just as important as the windows, chairs, tables, couches, or lights. The building serves it's purpose as a shelter for humans, and the mantel clock tells time. The mantel clock is but one part of the plant that makes up the whole building.
In comparison, the Étagère in its building is much like the mantel clock in its. The Étagère is Rococo style, and is a working part of the Rococo style building, creating "the plant" as a whole. The mantel clock is a part of its art nouveau "plant." In both cases, the artifacts have their place, in a building with the same style.
In contrast, The Alexander Calder Mobile in its building is not quite the same, as it is on display. Though it meshes with the building in the sense that it is a piece of art and belongs with the other art pieces around it, it is a glorified object, and meant to stick out. The mantel clock is not on display or glorified in its space, it is simply a part of it.