Sunday, May 13, 2018

Art Nouveau Buckle

Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts boasts a world-class collection of Art Nouveau. Along with the Tiffany lamps and Mackintosh chairs, there is a selection of belt buckles from the collection assembled by Gisela and Karl Kreuzer. Why belt buckles? Belle Epoque women loved to highlight their tiny corseted waists. An elegant buckle was an accessory as necessary as a hat. This fine silver buckle, designed by Archibold Knox and sold at Liberty's in London, explains Art Nouveau in a few square inches: an asymmetrical arrangement of flowers and leaves with a tangle of whiplashing stems. It's a masterwork that deserves its place in a museum.