The theoretical and cultural concepts of Modernism of the time spread further than the great arts, also influencing the world of crafts and trades. Nostalgia for a past long-gone and the increasingly-numerous studies of medieval art led to the recovery of old techniques, to which were added an astounding development in the field of design. With more and more original motifs, whose inspiration was taken from nature as well as both ancient and exotic civilisations, many architects, painters, sculptors and craftsmen of the city embarked on numerous fruitful collaborations.
It was at this time when the so-called ‘lesser arts’ left behind their position in the background and were elevated to the status of art. Many of the artworks from the collection combine Modernist iconography and symbology with techniques which the artisans continued to perfect. From this communion, beautiful compositions of ceramics, metalwork, glass and other materials resulted, that on many occasions were merged into a single decorative work, either as a piece of furniture or a sculpture. In addition, objects of everyday life which always retained the simplicity of their original functional purpose, were combined with new Modernist concepts, resulting in elegant and creative works of art, with fields such as jewellery receiving their own specific touch.
At this time, glasswork also became extremely important, with techniques such as cloissoné being restored; large and small leaded windows no longer decorated exclusively religious buildings and instead became part of façades, patios, roofs and countless corners of the city’s houses and public buildings. In the meantime, the field of ceramics developed to a level of great decorative and artistic importance. The compositions of trencadís (mosaics of ceramic shards) which Gaudí also used, appeared for the first time in designs of great originality.
In the fields of forging and metal, workshops specially dedicated to the artistic treatment of small and large objects, full of movement, animals and plant motifs, were created, as complements to buildings, furniture and individual works.