August Endell (1871-1925) was one of the most eloquent commentators on aesthetics in Wilhelmine Germany. In his art criticism he was advocating non-figurative painting in the late 19th century--well before artists themselves embraced abstraction. Not just a theorist, Endell was also a self-taught architect and designer who put his bold ideas into action. Among his signature works are the now- vanished Elvira photographic studio in Munich and Berlin's Hackesche H fe. As a proponent of the Jugendstil movement, Endell believed that every element of design should contribute to an organic whole. His progressive ideals brought him into conflict with cultural reactionaries like Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom Endell criticised in an open letter. August Endell represents a crucial link in the chain of modern architectural theory that leads to the present day.