The topic of tonight’s lecture which I will deliver in Tel Aviv is the Jugendstil Movement which blossomed in Germany at the turn of the 20th century. Its ideas were not fully realized in any location more than in the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony. Formed with a group of artists in the Mathildenhöhe area of Darmstadt, where these artists lived and worked, it came to establish some of the most ambitious manifestations of the Movement, both in design and business. The Colony was formed in the spring of 1899 by the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hessen, who sought to transform the Hessian capital from a sleepy town into a leading center of German culture, and to take the role of an art patron and promoter, just like his grandfather, Price Albert. His colony was planned not as a private enterprise, but rather as a ducal project, and between 1898 and 1899, he personally selected the first group of seven artists, lead by Viennese architect Josef Maria Olbrich. The most interesting house built on the property was designed by young Peter Behrens as his own house, where he successfully achieved a unity of architecture and Interiors, where the Expressionist emblem of the crystal came to play a key role, and simplicity of forms and colors have found their expression in a Jugendstil atmosphere. Here are some images of this remarkable house, an icon of modern residential architecture.
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