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Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008

The Domestic Scene (1897-1927): George M. Niedecken...

(Milwaukee Art Museum/University of Wisconsin), by Cheryl Robert

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Milwaukee was fertile ground for arts and architecture in the early 20th century, with many ideas transplanted from Europe. The new expanded edition of The Domestic Scene examines the work of George Niedecken, perhaps best known for collaborating with Frank Lloyd Wright, but also a significant force in his own right. The Milwaukeean designed home interiors, crafting the handsome furnishings himself. He also worked as a commercial artist and dabbled in painting. The essays and photographs display his debt to the Arts and Crafts movement, the influence of Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession. Like Wright, Niedecken believed that a building's interior should be integrated with its faade, forming an aesthetic whole. With that in mind, Domestic Scenes should have included exterior photographs to show the context for Niedecken's work.