An art nouveau fantasy...

I spent the last two days traveling for my day job, and one of my stops was an amazing 1905 bed and breakfast in Ludington, Michigan. The Cartier Mansion was spellbinding with 98% of its floors, walls, furniture, fixtures being original. Imagine my sheer ecstasy when I walked into the library and saw this:

Shut up! Shut. Up. The art history nerd in me was shining, still is shining. This is pure, classic art nouveau, hand painted at the turn of the century. This is a perfect example of Alphonse Mucha's style, the father of art nouveau (which, coincidentally, I was just discussing fervently not three nights ago), a perfect example from when it was reaching its zenith. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris burst art nouveau onto the world scene. This is when it was happening!

I have this delicious fantasy that Mucha needed a break from Paris and his Sarah Bernhardt posters and retreated to the quiet lakeside town of Ludington on Michigan's west coast. He ran into the worldly Cartier family, constructing their masterpiece of a home. The Cartiers said "Hey, Alphonse, why not just do a little diddy in our library?" Then this master of design shrugged his shoulders and said sure, as he did not want to get rusty during his retreat...

There's an utterly dorky smile on my face right now. Over the past few years, I've become a Mucha/art nouveau superfan. I even painted a copy of his 1896 Summer for my dad for Christmas last year. Oh, her look is entirely mischievous. I just want to climb in all his paintings and roll around in them.

Actually, that's my response to a lot of things.

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