The unity of art and life was the goal of the Art Nouveau movement, the prelude to modernity. On the basis of shared ideas, its adherents strove for a homogenous style, which nonetheless took on manifold variations in its expression. Dr. Gabriele Fahr-Becker explores this artistic movement in architecture, interior decor, furniture design, silver and gold smithery, ceramics and glasswork, graphic arts and painting. The author leads her readers through the diverse national variations of Art Nouveau in Europe and the United States. The significance of the literary and philosophical as well as cultural and political background is explained by means of many theories and writings by artists and their contemporaries. The countless permutations of Art Nouveau are woven into a complex and yet distinctive picture of this artistic movement at the turn of the twentieth century.