Flowers of Lorraine - The Genius of Art Nouveau in Nancy

Prices from £1,650


29 Jun 2020 - 5 Jul 2020
Duration: 6 nights
Ref: 20NANC
With: Dr Justine Hopkins


Prices from £1,650
Single Supplement: £210
Deposit: £200

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The historic capital of the ancient Duchy of Lorraine, Nancy has been a centre of trade, commerce and craftsmanship since the 11th century. But it was an artist and glassworker, Emile Gallé, who, around the turn of the 20th century, made his native city internationally famous as the vanguard of the Art Nouveau style. As the founder and first president of the Ecole de Nancy, Gallé unified a group of artists from Lorraine who would electrify the world with their spectacular creations – energetic, elegant and deeply rooted in a close and passionate observation of local flowers, fruits and creatures. This was apparent no more so than at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, which presented to the world the climactic achievement of the style commonly known as Art Nouveau. Here, the work of the Ecole de Nancy in particular, drew such admiration that by the time the Exposition closed, ‘Style Nancy’ had become an accepted way of referring to the movement as a whole.

Among the visitors enthralled by the Ecole’s achievements was George Donaldson, representative of the South Kensington Museum (shortly to be renamed the V&A). Thanks to his vision and enthusiasm (not entirely appreciated by his more conservative colleagues at the time) the V&A has an extensive collection of some of the best Style Nancy productions. We are therefore pleased to announce a very special collaboration between the V&A and Art Pursuits Abroad in 2020. Led by Dr Justine Hopkins, art historian and long-time aficionado of all things Art Nouveau and Nancy, the collaboration will combine a 2-day introductory course at the V&A with our popular APA Nancy study tour. Emile Gallé believed passionately in a world where there could be art in everything, for everyone. This unique course and tour combination will explore the many and varied ways in which he and his colleagues set about making that vision come true, and the unique qualities of glorious Nancy itself which made their success possible.


Freelance lecturer and writer, Dr Justine Hopkins specialises in the fine and decorative art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She has taught at many universities including Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and London. Also, Justine has lectured for the Tate, the V & A and National Gallery, as well as many other independent art groups.


1. Art Nouveau - overview
2. Nancy - the historical and cultural background to Art Nouveau
Lunch break
3. 'Style Nancy'
4. Objects session: glass


1. Artists of Nancy - Emile Gallé
2. Artists of Nancy - Louis Majorelle
Lunch break
3. Objects session: furniture/ceramic (TBA)


Trains from London St Pancras via Paris to Nancy. Transfer to our hotel by private coach. Introductory stroll around the magnificent Place Stanislas.


The morning is spent in Place Stanislas, Europe’s most beautiful royal square, viewing and visiting two of Nancy’s finest buildings: the majestic Hôtel de Ville occupies the square’s entire south side (viewing from the outside), while the Musée des Beaux-Arts, as sleekly modern inside as it is classically elegant outside, displays works by Caravaggio and Delacroix, as well as the Daum Collection of Art Nouveau glassware. In the afternoon, a walking tour around Nancy’s finest Art Nouveau exteriors, including the blue ceramic façade of the Point-Central pharmacy.


After a stroll along Rue Félix Faure to see the house façades, visit the museum devoted to the Nancy School of artists and craftsmen associated with Emile Gallé, featuring work by all its major representatives, including Gallé himself, Antonin Daum and Eugène Vallin. In the afternoon, tour the Quartier Saurupt (Art Nouveau Garden Estate) and visit the Maison Bergeret, designed by Lucien Weissenburger, decorated with stained-glass windows by Gruber and Janin.


Stroll through the atmospheric Old Town past the elegant, arcaded Place Saint-Epvre and its eponymous Neo-Gothic basilica and finish at the Porte de la Craffe. In the afternoon, visit the Villa Majorelle, the crowning example of Nancy’s Art Nouveau architecture, with features in ceramics, iron, glass and wood. Walk to the nearby Parc Sainte-Marie, the site of the 1909 International Exhibition of Eastern France, held partly in honour of Gallé. Return by coach via the Avenue Foch. Share a farewell dinner at the refined Brasserie Excelsior, which has been welcoming clients for over 100 years, a great café of the ‘Belle Epoque’.


A leisurely stroll through the Parc de la Pépinière to see Rodin’s sculpture of Claude Lorrain with some free time before returning by trains from Nancy via Paris to London St Pancras.


Please note that this tour involves a fair amount of walking across uneven ground. You must be fit and surefooted to make the most of this tour. If you would like to find out more about the physical ‘difficulty level’ of the tour, please ring or email us.


Twin/double share: £1650 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £210
'No trains' reduction: £120


  • 2 day course at the V&A
  • Return travel with Eurostar (standard class)
  • Transfers and excursions in Nancy by private coach
  • 4 nights bed and breakfast in a locally-rated four-star hotel
  • 2 dinners, 1 lunch
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the lecturers and a local tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters

Grand Hotel de la Reine****

The four-star Grand Hotel de la Reine, Nancy, located ideally in the centre of Nancy on the Place Stanislas. The hotel has traditional decoration, Louis XV style, influence of the belle époque, masterpiece of French architecture of the eighteenth century and classified World Heritage of Unesco. Relax in the hotels reading room, enjoy a drink in the bar or something tasty to eat in the restaurant. The bedrooms have a telephone, television, hair dryer, en suite, internet access and tea and coffee making facilities.