2014 | 2 | 119-138
Article title

Dawne sanatorium w Trzebiechowie. Dzieło Henry’ego van de Velde – z perspektywy dekady – odkryte na nowo

Title variants
Former sanatorium in Trzebiechów. The work of Henry van de Velde – from the perspective of the decade – discovered anew
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Ten years have already passed by since the discovery of the unknown work of Henry van de Velde – interior decor and furnishings of the former sanatorium in Trzebiechów – was announced, which took place in 2003. It was the grandson of the last head of the sanatorium before the outbreak of the WWII, who picked up the trail of the artist and followed information relating Henry van de Velde to the sanatorium in Trzebiechów, erected between 1902-1905 from the funds of the Ducal Family of von Reuss. As deep as in the Archives of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin, he discovered the lists of the artist to Duchess Marie Alexandrine von Reuss. This proved the authorship of the Belgian, additionally confirmed by the later stylistic and comparative analysis. The discovery complemented the catalogue of works of Henry van de Velde and had wide repercussions throughout Europe. Conservation research in the buildings of the former sanatorium has been commenced soon after, followed by renovation as well as conservation works in the years 2004-2012, resulting in revealing the interiors in original colouring from the dawn of the 20th century. The 150th anniversary of the Belgian artist birthday, celebrated in 2013 in many European countries, including Poland, was a great opportunity to remind of the only work of van de Velde at the territory of our country. Henry van de Velde was a versatile man of art. His works include such domains as painting, architecture, furniture and textile design, book covers, posters, ceramic, china and metalwork designs, ladies clothing. He was also the author of studies on the theory of art. Van de Velde had a great impact on development of the European art of the 20th century and is considered one of the most recognized representatives of the Modernism. In 1902, Henry van de Velde arrived to Weimar, to take the position of the counsellor for art, industrial design and craft at the court. The Weimar period is considered to be the one of the most significant in his career. His Weimar designs include, among others, redevelopment of the house of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche into archive, the buildings of the School of Art and the Arts and Crafts School, as well as a house for his family, called Hohe Pappeln – a true manifesto of the New Style, by which the artist expressed drastically its clear departure from imitating the historical styles. The most significant works delivered during the Weimer period include construction of villa for the manufacturer H. Esche in Chemnitz, for Dr. W. Leuring in Scheveningen in Holland, for P. Schulenburg in Gera, redevelopment of villa for T. Koerner in Chemnitz and interiors in the sanatorium in Trzebiechów. Henry van de Velde’s output consists in more than 300 designs, including works of art and complex architectural structures. He designed 48 buildings along with their complete furnishings and interiors, following the idea with of combining different areas of artistic creation into a single work of art, in line with the vision behind the Gesamtkunstwerk. The list of his works depicts more than 100 interior designs, for the most from Belgium, Germany and Holland. The most outstanding are the interiors of the Folkwang Museum in Hagen, Nietzsche Archive in Weimar, H. Esche’s villa in Chemnitz, K.E. Osthaus’s villa (Hohenhof) in Hagen and sanatorium in Trzebiechów. Research performed in recent years revealed that the commission taken up by Henry van de Velde in Trzebiechów covered complex designs of vast majority of representative interiors, including colouring and decorative ornaments for staircases in two largest buildings of the complex, i.e. main building and the administrative and residential building called The Doctor’s House, accompanied by halls, social rooms for both ladies and gentlemen, billiards room and dining room situated in the main building. The artist designed also door and window woodframes, stairs, floors, floor finishing, panelling, etc. The designs covered many domains, from constructional solutions (structure of pseudo-ceiling in a dining room and side staircase in the main building) to minor details, such as ferrules or door and window handles. Both the scale and quality of the artistic output visible in the sanatorium in Trzebiechów and well-preserved original elements of the historical building make it one of the most distinguished works of Henry van de Velde. Regular research and conservation and reconstruction works performed in recent years brought to light and allowed to maintain the original elements of the historical building. That is why we may consider the former sanatorium in Trzebiechów, aspiring to the rank of the ‘monument of history’, as the work of art of the European scale.
Physical description
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Publication order reference
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