The Man Who Wasn't There
edited by Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 8/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Herr Biedermeier was no one, really. The name was made up, coined from bieder, meaning plain, and the German surname Maier. Objects from the Biedermeier period—roughly the first half of the 19th century—had a plain look, too. With their natural materials and pared-down decoration, some seem proto-modern.
The Milwaukee Art Museum's "Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity," highlights the movement's contemporary cred with more than 100 pieces of furniture, scads of home accessories, paintings, clothes, and jewelry. Wallpaper and textiles collected by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are on view for the first time in the U.S. September 16–January 1; 414-224-3200; mam.org.