IPBA "A Presenza Invisible" Exhibition of Art Nouveau and Art Deco Perfumes

You are invited to the “A Presenza Invisible” (The Invisible Presence) Exhibition which will be held at the Municipal Museum in Pontevedra, Spain from April 7th to June 12th.  The theme is Art Nouveau and Art Deco perfume items between 1890 and 1940.  It will feature around 200 pieces from the amazing collection of Afonso Oliveira, including perfume bottles, rice powder boxes, and advertisements.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by the phrase of Coco Chanel “Elegance is not possible without perfume. It is the invisible, unforgettable accessory”. The exhibition aims to make known the nobility of the perfume obtained throughout the twentieth century with the birth of great French perfume houses. At that time the containers in which they kept perfumes have been turned into pieces that are already an essential part of the history of the decorative arts of the twentieth century, especially the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras that have decisively influenced the success of the perfume industry.

The exhibition is divided into several sections, the first being ‘Art Nouveau (1890-1910) ’, a style that encompassed all areas of art, characterized by the use of elongated lines and shapes and inspired undulating and asymmetrical strokes in nature. That style will determine the design of the perfume bottles, with artists like René Lalique, Baccarat, Julien Viard or Émile Gallé shaping the new aesthetics, creating pieces that are true art icons.

There is also a specific space in the exhibition for ‘Czech glass bottles’; another about ‘Coty and Lalique’, two glassmakers-jewelers who advanced in the world of perfumery for the general public; another section for ‘Great Designers and glassmakers for big brands’, with explanations about Baccarat and Julien Viard; and finally a part on ‘Art Deco 1925’.

The catalog was produced with the collaboration of Jean-Marie Hattemberg, and photographer Paulo Seabra.

Pontevedra is in the northwest portion of Spain near Santiago de Compostela and Vigo.

See the Fragrantica review of the exhibition.

International Perfume Bottle Association
Incorporated in Illinois, USA

© International Perfume Bottle Association