Stairwell in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2018
The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (English: Municipal Museum The Hague) is an art museum that was founded in 1866. It is renowned for its large Mondriaan collection, the largest in the world. His last work, Victory Boogie-Woogie, is on display here.
The monumental Gemeentemuseum Den Haag was designed by the architect H.P. Berlage between 1931 - 1935 and is a perfect exapmle of durtch Art Deco. It houses a varied collection and many changing exhibitions along with some of the finest works by artists of the Hague School, paintings by Picasso, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Monet, Toorop and many contemporary artists. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag also houses one of the biggest and best collections of Delftware.
The international Art Deco movement flourished in the decorative arts and architecture between around 1915 and 1939. It laid great emphasis on the decorative use of geometrical shapes and luxurious materials like exotic timbers, enamel, gold and lacquer. In the Netherlands, its influence was reflected chiefly in the interior designs of Amsterdam School architects.
However, the influence of new design philosophies outside the Netherlands (including Bauhaus) led to a growing feeling that it was not so much decoration as the basic form of objects that made them aesthetically pleasing. Everyday objects should, above all, be functional; then they would automatically be visually attractive. Designers who felt this way also aimed to achieve more affordable, serially produced objects. This belief in functionalism was far from universal among Dutch designers but it was highly influential and many of them turned to designing plainer and less luxurious products, partly because of the economic depression that followed the financial crisis of 1929.
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