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Museum exhibit captures turn-of-century Paris



In 1900, "L'Art nouveau" "? a form and style hailed to be the next great art movement "? was unveiled at the Paris Universal Exposition.

"There was excitement at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the beginning of a new era," said Hardy George, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art's chief curator. "They wanted to create a new art for that era. Of course, World War I and the trenches put an end to all that."     
Despite art nouveau's short-lived run, revivalists and historians have repeatedly returned to take another look at it and other tossed-away styles such as art deco.

"Paris 1900" is an exhibition that shows paintings, posters, ceramics, sculptures and objects at the height of this Parisian art movement. Having opened in December, it runs through March 2.

"Paris 1900" is not a typical exhibit for the OKCMOA, and was actually assembled by the museum's curators piecemeal, rather than playing host to a preassembled traveling exhibit or a large loan from a single collector. Creating the show was a three-year process.

"Generally, we think of the art nouveau as something very pleasant, having to do with design and beautiful interiors "? a kind of overall harmony in the arts," George said. "There is another side of that. You have two sides of society: The tremendous growth of cities, including Paris, has taken place, and poverty has increased. All that mix comes out in the art."

"?Charles Martin


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