For a fruitful period between the 1880s and the First World War, European and North American culture deferred to nature. With a symphony of flowing lines and organic shapes, Art Nouveau (New Art) inflected architecture, design, painting, graphic work, applied arts, and illustration. Art Nouveau was deliberately nouveau. With a spirit of willful reform, its practitioners sought to distance themselves from the imitative historicism that characterized much 19th-century art and replace it with undulating, decorative qualities. Turning to vine tendrils, flowering buds, and bird feathers as ornamental reference, they pursued not only a linear freedom but also liberation from the weight of artistic tradition and expectation.