European design during the first decade of the twentieth century was a crucible of theory and practice, ranging from the florid beauty of the French Art Nouveau to the roots of the German Bauhaus.
Belgian designer and theorist Henry van de Velde called for the unification of art, the re-evaluation of the role of craftsman and designer, the recognition that we are able "to impress beauty upon every aspect of our lives, that the artist should no longer simply paint pictures, but rather create whole rooms, or even whole dwellings, with wallpapers and furniture as well as paintings."
The Secessionist Movement in Austria produced applied arts during the early years that are remarkable for their geometric refinement and elegant simplicity. It is best typified by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, who co-founded the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) in 1903.
"In an age dominated by second-rate production and a numbing imitation of the past, the Werkstätte saw its initial mission as one of reduction and divestment, to eliminate familiar historical and naturalistic motifs while simultaneously reviving meticulous craftsmanship."
The Period Arts Fan Company strives to meet this same goal with our Altus and Lapa fans. As with the Secessionist designs, they are divested of superfluous embellishment and built to the highest quality.