Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object


Henry van de Velde (Belgian, Antwerp 1863–1957 Zurich)
Theodor Muller
ca. 1902
4 1/8 x 14 in. (10.5 x 35.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2000
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Belgian architect/designer van de Velde lived in Weimar, Germany, from 1899 to 1917. There, his work absorbed aspects of the German Jugendstil, or "youth style," which took its name from the popular illustrated magazine Jugend that was published in Munich at the turn of the century. Jugendstil was contemporaneous with and related to Art Nouveau, though its most innovative designers replaced the exuberance and naturalism characteristic of French and Belgian design with a comparatively restrained and abstract aesthetic. Forms and decorative motifs, while thoroughly integrated, often were treated in a linear or geometric manner that rendered their relation to nature almost unrecognizable. Theodor Müller, court jeweler to the duke of Saxe-Weimar, made this jardinière; its handles are hinged, probably to allow the removal of either a liner or a plant.
Marking: Stamped with designer's cypher and maker's mark: TH.MÜLLER DEPOSÉ
numbered 1452
(sale, Christie's, London, May 11, 2000, no. 82, sold to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.

Gillian Naylor. The Bauhaus. Repr. ed. (1st ed., 1968). London, 1972, ill. p. 42 (Folkwang Museum, Essen collection).

Antje Neumann in Henry van de Velde: Raumkunst und Kunsthandwerk. Interior Design and Decorative Arts. Ed. Thomas Föhl and Antje Neumann. Vol. 1, Works in Metal. Leipzig, 2009, pp. 162–63, no. 1.2.40, ill. (color), calls it "Fruit bowl" and dates it 1903; lists it as one of three examples; reproduces a version in a private collection, with a porcelain insert.

Related Objects

Side chair

Artist: Henry van de Velde (Belgian, Antwerp 1863–1957 Zurich) Date: 1903 Medium: Oak, upholstery Accession: 1985.54.2 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Henry van de Velde (Belgian, Antwerp 1863–1957 Zurich) Date: ca. 1898 Medium: Elm, leather, brass Accession: 2011.234 On view in:Not on view

Tea Infuser and Strainer

Artist: Marianne Brandt (German, Chemnitz 1893–1984 Kirchberg) Date: ca. 1924 Medium: Silver and ebony Accession: 2000.63a-c On view in:Gallery 903