Henry van de Velde – Récit de ma vie (1917-1957).
The Périer-D’Ieteren Foundation is providing exceptional support for the publication of Anne van Loo’s book on Henry van de Velde. The critical edition of the third and final volume of the Memoirs of Henry van de Velde (1863-1957), published under the title Henry van de Velde. Récit de ma vie (1917-1957), is a lavishly illustrated scientific work (1150 pages and 1000 b/w illustrations). The book, which is devoted to the years 1917-1957 of van de Velde’s activities, reveals little-known aspects of an exceptionally diverse and multi-faceted career in several countries, leading to a re-evaluation of the place that history has so far given him – as an architect and precursor of design, but also as a theorist and pedagogue. His return to Belgium (1926) was motivated by his ambition to raise the level of artistic production in the country. To achieve this, he used a whole range of means that were granted to him on the basis of his reputation alone and that extended from teaching (creation of the La Cambre school) to the production of art industries, via his consultancy missions and commissions. Despite the formidable press campaigns waged against him by his colleagues for almost 50 years, it must be said that his principles and his school have had a decisive and lasting influence on the country’s architectural and artistic production (and beyond) well into the 21st century.
Illustration: Henry van de Velde in his studio at the Weimar School, 1905. Photo: Louis Held.