Two screens

These two screens, designed by the famous Art Nouveau architect Paul Hankar (1859-1901), were purchased by the King Baudouin Foundation in 2004.

At the end of the 19th century, Paul Hankar, together with Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde, was among the leading figures of modern architecture. His own house, built in 1893 in the Rue Defacqz in Brussels, is considered – together with the Hôtel Tassel, a townhouse designed by Victor Horta and built in the same year – as the first Art Nouveau building. However, whilst Paul Hankar is famous throughout the world as an architect, his talents as an interior designer are much less well known and yet, he designed the interior of a number of boutiques, houses, hotels and restaurants, generally creating everything, including the furniture, textiles and wallpaper.

These screens are typical of Hankar’s interior design. They consist of asymmetrical panels, curved above and with small wooden panels in the form of squares and half squares beneath. According to an advertisement, they were produced in 1897 for the restaurant of the Grand Hotel on Boulevard Anspach in Brussels, a meeting place for Brussels high society at the time. The screens were available to clients who wished for a certain discretion. They are a magnificent testimony to the place considered as a ‘must’ in Brussels during the Art Nouveau period.

Site Design Museum

Further information about the Heritage Fund (in French)

Type: 
Furniture
Material / technique: 
Mahonia wood, coloured glass and copper casters
Dimensions: 
200 x 180 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Heritage Fund Acquisition
Year of acquisition: 
2004
Depository institution: 
Design Museum, Ghent