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Distinctive Individuality: George Mann Niedecken’s Milwaukee Interiors

March 25–October 9, 2022
The Godfrey American Art Wing, Level 2, Gallery K230

Local architect George Mann Niedecken (American, 1878–1945) was a highly regarded furniture designer and self-described “interior architect.” For nearly 40 years, he designed furnishings for homes in the Greater Milwaukee area. He blended the simplicity and natural forms emphasized by the Arts and Crafts movement and Prairie School with the decorative embellishments associated with the Art Nouveau and European Secessionist styles.

Drawn from the Museum’s collection and its George Mann Niedecken Archives, Distinctive Individuality spotlights Niedecken’s approach to design for creating a home in complete harmony. The exhibition’s title comes from a quote of Niedecken’s:

“All materials employed for the development of interiors possess a distinctive individuality...and can be employed to aid in the artistic qualities of the use to which they are put.”

The exhibition focuses on the Dining Table and Eight Chairs Niedecken created for the home of Frank Boesel. Never before shown at the Museum, the chairs were recently restored to their original condition and are accompanied by the drawings and photographs that aided in their conservation.


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The reupholstering of the chairs for George Mann Niedecken’s Dining Table and Eight Chairs for the Frank T. Boesel Residence was generously funded by the Demmer Charitable Trust.
Image:
  • George Mann Niedecken, Dining Table and Eight Chairs for the Frank T. Boesel Residence, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (pictured with seating for four), ca. 1907. Purchase, with funds from the Mae E. Demmer Charitable Trust in memory of Lawrence E. Demmer M2012.297.1a-d–.9. Photo by John R. Glembin