"Musical Furniture!": Erik Satie and Art Nouveau

  • Sarah Billheimer North Carolina State University
Keywords Erik Satie, Art Nouveau, Music, Composer
Keywords Erik Satie, Art Nouveau, Music, Composer


While scholars have noted French composer Erik Satie’s association with Impressionists, Dadaists, Cubists, and Surrealists, they have struggled to make his music fit within the bounds of his friends’ movements.  Certain aspects of Satie’s life and work—namely, repetition, preoccupation with interiors, and a penchant for ornamental details—point more clearly to correspondence with a previously unexamined possibility: Art Nouveau.  Highlighting Art Nouveau as the best of many possible interpretive lenses for Satie, this paper examines the movement during Satie’s primary years of activity, anecdotal information about Satie’s life, and the large collection of writings and drawings he left behind.