INTRODUCTION TO
AMERICAN ART NOUVEAU

The strains of European Art Nouveau soon found their way into American culture principally through ceramic and glass designs. The fondness for Orientalism, especially Japanese prints and ceramic glazing effects, influenced such leading figures as Louis Comfort Tiffany (his glass became a revered hallmark of Art Nouveau), Jacques Sicard, Artus Van Briggle, William Gates, among others, who introduced highly individualized interpretations of the style to America. Their work did much to blur the old distinctions between fine art and applied or decorative art. Architect Louis H. Sullivan and his master ornamentalist, George Elmslie, introduced the Art Nouveau aesthetic to America's heartland by integrating floral ornaments with cubic mass, a fusion of organic and inorganic superbly realized in The National Farmer's Bank, now Norwest Bank Owatonna.