19th century nature prints inspire spring/summer 2017 collections.
During the summer shows this year, our new products inspired by vintage nature studies have captured the imaginations of buyers and shop owners from Atlanta to Las Vegas to New York. Market attendees couldn't help but stop to admire our wall art, textiles, melamine, serving accessories, and even cocktail napkins featuring meticulously rendered botanical, animal, sea life, and plant studies.
But how did these beautiful designs come to be?
"I've been collecting old book plates for years," said Lynette Cvikota, Managing Director of Product Development at tag. "Nineteenth century nature studies. I find them at flea markets and antique shops. They are authentic, archival etchings, water colors, and pages from natural history books and magazines of the era."
Originally created by highly skilled artists, these vintage illustrations were important resources for botanists, biologists, and natural history enthusiasts of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Before photography reached a sufficient level of technical sophistication, scientists and hobbyists alike relied on the exacting detail of botanical, bird, animal, sea life, and plant still-life paintings and drawings. They inventoried them as visual records, and referenced them to help identify species observed in nature.
Often the Latin names of the rendered species were elegantly scripted onto the paintings and drawings. Today, these calligraphic elements add visual interest and graphic beauty to the artworks.
"The renderings are exquisite," continued Lynette. "No one makes art like this anymore. You can collect and frame them, but we wanted to play with them and develop them as pattern and design, and adapt them for our products. Consumers enjoy looking back at history and collecting beautiful objects and art of bygone eras. Our new collections speak to that desire for those things that are timeless."
During the twentieth century, as photography became more and more advanced and uniquely suited to capturing the colors and details of natural life, the need for skilled illustrators diminished. But at the same time, collectors began to appreciate these works as fine art. Consumers sought out original book plates and prints to mount and frame and hang on the walls of their homes, or places of business. The most popular renderings were reproduced as prints and sold at art dealers and museum shops.
But this is not just a trend. Collecting not just historical prints, but also home products inspired by their beauty and artistry is an ongoing consumer preference when shopping for tableware, home textiles, and accessories.
We at tag are happy to make it possible for you to offer these exquisite products, inspired by nature, to your customers.