Friday, 30 October 2015

Deutsche Fächersammler in Brüssel - German fan collectors in Brussels

Das Wochenende vom 23. bis 25. Oktober stand im Zeichen des Fächers: 30 Sammler, nicht nur aus Deutschland, sondern auch aus Grossbritannien, Italien, Belgien und Holland nahmen am diesjährigen Fächertreffen in Brüssel teil. Das Programm war vielfältig und intensiv:
Freitag Vormittag öffnete das Spitzen- und Modemuseum seine derzeitige Ausstellung über die Krinoline und sein Archiv, um uns seine Fächerschätze zu zeigen:
The weekend of 23-25 October was the fan weekend: 30 fan collectors, not only from Germany, but also from Italy, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands participated in the Annual meeting of German fan collectors in Brussels. The programme was divers and intense:  Friday morning started with the Lace and Fashion Museum that opened its current exhibition on the Crinoline and its archives to us:
Caroline Esgain, Director or the museum, with a wonderful Chinese Cockade fan
"Krinoline & Co - Ausgestellte Bürgerlichkeit" (bis 10.4.2016)
"Crinoline & Cie - the Bourgeoisie on display" (until 10 April 2016)
Freitag nachmittags ging es zum "Cinquentenaire", wo das Königliche Museum für Kunst und Geschichte seine Türen öffnete. Sophie Balace, Kuratorin für Preziosa, stellte uns 5 Fächer aus der Sammlung vor, darunter der mittlerweile berühmte "Surprise-Faltfächer" aus dem späten 17. Jahrhundert:
Friday afternoon found us at the Royal Museum of Art and History in the Cinquentenaire park where Sophie Balace, curator for preziosa, showed us 5 special fans from the archive, amongst them the rare Surprise folding fan from the late 17th century:
 Surprise-Faltfächer mit erstaunlich frischen Farben
Surprise folding fan, late 17th c., with astonishingly fresh colours
Fächer der brabantischen Revolution (zeitgleich und im Stil ganz wie die französischen Revolutionsfächer)
Fan of the Brabant revolution (same time and same style as the French revolutionary fans)

Samstag Vormittag war drei Vorträgen gewidmet: Hans Merkle über die Fächermaler Karl und Georg Gimbel, Vera Kistner stellte ihren "scheinbar unscheinbaren" Fächer vor, ein Souvenir eines Theaterabends auf dem Schloss von Mouchy 1863. Und Margaetha Mazura leitete mit "Der Weg zu Art Deco" zur nachmittäglichen Ausstellung ihrer Jugendstil und Art Deco Fächer, sowie jener der Sammlung HS aus Belgien, über. Ein Video über die Fächerausstellung U.G. Hoffmanns schloss den Vormittag ab.
Saturday morning saw 3 presentations: Hans Merkle's research on the fan painters Karl and Georg Gimbel; Vera Kistner presented her "conspicuously inconspicuous" fan, a souvenir of a theatre performance at the Chateau de Mouchy in 1863. And Margaretha Mazura showed the Path towards Art Deco, which led to the afternoon exposition of her Art Nouveau and Art Deco fans and those of the Belgian HS collection. A video about the fan exhibition of U.G. Hoffmann ended the morning.
Pfauenfächer gemalt von Thomasse, von Eva
Thomasse' peacock fan of Eva
Gendrot-Fächer von Rose
Gendrot fan of Rose
Die deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens stellte für die Ausstellung am Samstag Nachmittag die Räumlichkeiten zur Verfügung.
The afternoon exhibition was hosted by the German-speaking Community of Belgium in Brussels.
 Jugendstil und Art Deco Fächer von mm
Art Nouveau and Art Deco fans of mm

Federfächer der HS Sammlung, Brüssel
Feather fans of the HS collection, Brussels

Ich hätte gerne auch das gemütliche Abendessen gezeigt, aber leider sind viele Sammler kamerascheu...
I would have liked to add some faces to the fans, in particular of the convivial dinner, but many fan collectors are camera-shy...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Plumes & Paillettes at the Concert Noble in Brussels

The second Biennale Art Nouveau/Art Deco weekend brought the fans of mm to the place where they were originally most in use: in a ball room, the Concert Noble. Therefore, the topic "Plumes & Paillettes" was selected, to show Art Nouveau and Art Deco fans for evening events such as balls or dîner-dansant. Created in 1873, the rooms of the Concert Noble are to these days used for balls, notably the "Bal Viennois".

   Composition in blue-green; composition in rose-orange

Most of the spectacular feather fans stem from the HS collection, Brussels. A collector for more than 30 years, he specialises in exquisite and extravagant fans, and for the first time showed them at this Biennale together with mm's fans.
The rarest of feather fans is a couple (yes, two) equal pink flamingo fans from the property of the Princesse d'Orléans and a parrot fan with the head of the animal on the guard. The Lophophore fan is of the mm collection.
mm and HS in fromt of the Paillette and mask fans
Among the many visitors were two ladies from Spain that showed us their fans that they always carry in their handbags: they select them carefully from specialised dealers as the fan needs to have a balanced feel in the hand and to shut rapidly and with a sound that reminds a machine gun!
SPECIAL THANKS to "Peinture-Fraiche", THE art and architecture bookshop in Brussels near Place Chatelain that generously lent us plexi stands for the fan exhibition!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

How to produce a MOP brise fan

When looking through the most recent FCI Newsletter, I was caught by a YouTube link that promised the entire process of a making a mother-of-pearl brisé fan. I clicked immediately, but more out of doubt: Who would produce mother-of-pearl brisé fans nowadays? Well, the answer is simple: Abanico Blay Villa, a Spanish fan producer.
Enjoy the incredible work of these "maestros abaniqueros": Blay Villa
YouTube film on the production of MOP fans 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Biennale Art Nouveau/ArtDeco Brussels - First Weekend: Vases and Fans

The first weekend of the Biennale Art Nouveau/Art Déco 2015 (an event where private houses opens up for the public) showed the Art Nouveau vases of the Schellhorn/Grupp collection, in relation to fans with related topics, styles and artists of Margaretha Mazura's fan collection.
All started when mm and Grupp discovered that Georges de Feure designed glassware (a jug and a bonbonniere) as well as (publicity) fans. In addition, a piano score designed by de Feure was found:
The jug displays a similar colour scheme (blue-brown) like the dress on the fan in the back. The fan in front has the same pastel tones as the piano score on the left.  
Visitors appreciated the contextualization of fans and vases in view of the concept of a "total work of art" (Gesamtkunstwerk) so dear to the Art Nouveau period. Artists and artisans wanted to make the lived-in environment one piece of art. And they did some considerable effort as can be seen by the table below the Gendrot fan: 
Insects inlaid with mother of pearl and dark wood (ebony) to show a moth, tainted wood to paint a hydrangea, all in an innovative triangular format. Decorative elements like flowers and plants are repeated on fans and vases like the mistle-toe, not only for its intrinsic Art Nouveau features but also for its symbolism of peace and innocence: 
Visitors' feedback was very positive as many did not expect anything from Art Nouveau fans and were surprised by the museum quality of vases in this private collection. The most intriguing feed-back, though, came from the youngest visitor, an immediate "fan-fan" who draw - perfectly - an Art Nouveau balloon format fan: 
(photo published by permission of the artist and her parents)