Henry Van de Velde (1863 – 1957) Belgian artist, architect, interior designer

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Poster Henry van de Velde featured image
Poster Henry van de Velde featured image

Henry Van de Velde (1863 – 1957) was a Belgian architect, industrial designer, painter and art critic. He was professionally active in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

He worked with Samuel Bing, the founder of the first gallery of Art Nouveau in Paris. Van de Velde spent the most critical part of his career in Germany and became a significant figure in the German Jugendstil. He had a decisive influence on German architecture and design at the beginning of the 20th century.


Between 1881 – 1884 he studied painting, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Antwerp and between 1884 – 1885 in Paris under Carolus Duran.


The Secessionists and French Art Nouveau influenced him. Art, in his opinion, should respond to the organic form.

He gave up painting in 1892 to pursue a career in design. His home in Brussels Bloemenwerf, where he combined furniture, rugs, and wall coverings to create a unified whole, earned him international attention. Even though his efficient and stunningly simple designs were admired throughout Europe, he reached the pinnacle of his career in Germany, where he opened a store in Berlin. He created furniture, porcelain, silver, jewellery, and textiles while he was there. Van de Velde, a founder member of the Deutscher Werkbund, eventually quit his position. He mentioned the deterioration of quality due to a greater reliance on the machine over the artist as the reason.

Selected Works

  • 1895–96: “Bloemenwerf”, Van de Velde’s first private residence, in Uccle, Belgium
  • 1895: Interior decoration of Siegfried Bing’s art Gallery “Maison de l’art nouveau” in Paris, France
  • 1898 : Monument Frédéric de Merode, Brussels, Belgium
  • 1900–02: Interior of the Folkwang Museum in Hagen, Germany
  • 1902–03, 1911 (extension): “Villa Esche” in Chemnitz, Germany
  • 1903: Extension and interior decoration of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar, Germany
  • 1906–07: Clubhouse of the “Chemnitzer Lawn-Tennis-Club” in Chemnitz (demolished)
  • 1907–08: “Hohenhof”, Mansion for Karl Ernst Osthaus in Hagen, Germany
  • 1907–08: “Haus Hohe Pappeln”, Van de Velde’s private residence in Weimar, Germany
  • 1909–11: “Ernst-Abbe-Denkmal”, Memorial for Ernst Abbe in Jena (in collaboration with the sculptors Max Klinger and Constantin Meunier)
  • 1912–13: Palace for Graf Dürckheim in Weimar, Germany
  • 1913–14: “Werkbund-Theater”, Theatre at the Deutsche Werkbund exhibition in Cologne, Germany
  • 1913–14: “Villa Schulenburg” in Gera, Germany
  • 1913–14: Wohnhaus für den Fabrikanten Dr. Theo Koerner in Chemnitz, Germany
  • 1927–28: “La Nouvelle Maison”, Van de Velde’s private residence in Tervuren, Belgium
  • 1929 : “Wolfers House” in Ixelles (Brussels), Belgium
  • 1929–31: Home for the elderly of the ‘Minna und James Heinemann-Stiftung’ in Hannover, Germany
  • 1933–35: Polyclinic and “Villa Landing” for Dr. Adriaan Martens in “Astene” near Ghent, Belgium
  • 1933–38: Library of Ghent University with “Boekentoren” in Ghent, Belgium
  • 1936–42: “Technische School”, School building in Leuven, Belgium
  • 1937: Belgian Pavilion at the 1937 Paris Exposition
  • 1937: “Station Blankenberge”, Train station in Blankenberge
  • 1939: Belgian Building for the 1939 New York World’s Fair


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Miller, J. (2009). 20th-century design: The definitive illustrated sourcebook. Miller’s.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 26). Henry van de Velde. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:31, August 2, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_van_de_Velde&oldid=1035542923

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