was a popular international art design
movement from 1925 until the 1940s, affecting the decorative arts
such as architecture
, interior design
, and industrial design
, as well as the visual arts
such as fashion
, and film
. At the time, this style was seen as elegant,
, functional, and
The movement was a mixture of many different styles and movements
of the early 20th century, including Neoclassical
, Art Nouveau
, and Futurism
. Its popularity peaked in Europe
during the Roaring Twenties
continued strongly in the United States through the 1930s. Although
many design movements have political or philosophical roots or
intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative.
Art Deco experienced a decline in popularity during the late 30s
and early 40s, and soon fell out of public favor. It experienced a
resurgence with the popularization of graphic design
in the 1980s. Art Deco had a
profound influence on many later artistic movements, such as
examples may still be seen in many different locations worldwide,
in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Spain, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, India and Brazil.
classic examples still exist in the form of architecture in many
major cities. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, both in New York City, are two of the largest and best-known examples of
After the Universal
Exposition of 1900
, various French artists
informal collective known as, La Société des artistes
(the society of the decorator artists). Founders
included Hector Guimard
, Eugène Grasset
, Raoul Lachenal, Paul Bellot
, Maurice Dufrêne
, and Emile Decoeur.
These artists heavily influenced the principles of Art Deco as a
whole. This society's purpose was to demonstrate French decorative
art's leading position and evolution internationally. They
organized the 1925
Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels
(International Exposition of Modern Industrial
and Decorative Art) in Paris, which would feature French art and
business interests. The terms Style Moderne
both derive from the exposition's title, though Art
was not widely used until popularized by art historian
's 1968 book Art Deco
of the 20s and 30s
summer of 1969, Hillier conceived organizing an exhibition called
Art Deco at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which took place from July to September
After this event, interest in Art Deco peaked with the
publication of his 1971 book The World of Art Deco
record of the exhibition.
The structure of Art Deco is based on mathematical geometric
shapes. It was widely considered to be an
eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism
, being influenced by a variety of
sources. Among them were the so-called "primitive"
arts of Africa, as well as historical
styles such as Greco-Roman Classicism,
and the art of Babylon, Assyria, Ancient
Egypt, and Aztec Mexico.
this could be attributed to the popular interest in archeology in
the 1920s (eg, the tomb of Tutankhamun,
Pompeii, the lost
city of Troy,
Art Deco also drew on Machine
as modern aviation
, electric lighting
, the radio
, the ocean liner
for inspiration. Streamline Moderne
was the final interwar-period
development, which most
thoroughly manifests technology and has been rated by some
commentators as a separate architectural style.
Art Deco design influences were expressed in the crystalline and
faceted forms of decorative Cubism
. Other popular themes in Art
Deco were trapezoidal
geometric, and jumbled shapes, which can be seen in many early
pieces. Two great examples of these themes and styles
are in Detroit, Michigan: the Fisher Building and the Guardian Building.
Art Deco was an opulent style, and its lavishness is attributed to
reaction to the forced austerity imposed by World War I
. Its rich, festive character fitted it for
"modern" contexts, including the Golden Gate Bridge, interiors of cinema theaters (a prime example
being the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California) and ocean liners such
as the Île de France,
Mary, and Normandie.
Art Deco was employed
extensively throughout the United States' train stations in the
1930s, designed to reflect the modernity and efficiency of the
train.Art Deco made use of many distinctive styles, but one of the
most significant of its features was its dependence upon a range of
ornaments and motif
. The style
is said to have reflected the tensions in the cultural politics of
its day, with eclecticism
one of its defining features. In the words of F. Scott
, the distinctive style of Art Deco was shaped by
'all the nervous energy stored up and expended in the War'. Art
Deco has been influenced in part by movements such as Cubism
, Russian Constructivism
and Italian Futurism
, which 'are all evident in Art Deco
Materials and design
Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminum
wood. Exotic materials such as sharkskin
), and zebraskin
were also in evidence. The bold use of
stepped forms and sweeping curves (unlike the sinuous, natural
curves of the Art Nouveau
patterns, and the sunburst
motif are typical of Art Deco.
these motifs were ubiquitous — for example, sunburst motifs were
used in such varied contexts as ladies' shoes, radiator grilles, the auditorium
of the Radio City
Music Hall, and the spire of the Chrysler Building.
A parallel movement called Streamline
, or simply Streamline, followed close behind.
Streamline was influenced by the modern aerodynamic designs,
including those emerging from advancing technologies in aviation
other fields requiring high velocity. The attractive shapes
resulting from scientifically applied aerodynamic
principles were enthusiastically
adopted within Art Deco, applying streamlining techniques to other
useful objects in everyday life, such as the automobile
. Although the beauty of the functional
design, not tacked on ornamentation, of the Chrysler Airflow
design of 1933 was
commercially unsuccessful, it provided the lead for more
conservatively designed pseudo-streamlined vehicles.
Streamlining quickly influenced American and European automobile design
and changed the look
from the rectangular "horseless
carriages into sleek vehicles with sweeping lines, symmetry
, and V-shapes that added to their mystique
of speed and efficiency. Nash Motors
introduced the modern fully-unitized body (monocoque
) design for the low-price market in 1941
that featured fastback
with high prow-like hoods
, and Art
Deco "speed lines" in sweeping chrome
and parallel bar trim. These
aerodynamic-looking designs were applied by automakers and
continued to be popular in the sellers' market
after World War II
. These "streamlined" forms began
to be used in the design of mundane and static objects such as
, and gas pumps
Art Deco celebrates the Machine Age through explicit use of
man-made materials (particularly glass and stainless steel),
symmetry, and repetition, modified by Asian
influences such as the use of silks and Middle Eastern
designs. It was strongly adopted
in the United States during the Great
for its practicality and simplicity, while still
portraying a reminder of better times and the "American Dream
Decline and resurgence
Art Deco slowly lost patronage in the West after reaching mass
production, when it began to be derided as gaudy and presenting a
false image of luxury. Eventually, the style was cut short by the
austerities of World War II
destruction in World War II, Manila possessed
many Art Deco buildings; a legacy of the American colonial
A resurgence of interest in Art Deco came first in the
1960s, and then again in the 1980s with the growing interest in
, where its association
with film noir
and 1930s glamour
led to its use in
advertisements for jewelry and fashion.
the finest surviving examples of Art Deco art and architecture are
found in Cuba, especially
Bacardi Building is noted for its particular style, which echoes
the classic themes of Art Deco. The style is expressed in the
architecture of residences, businesses, hotels, and many pieces of
decorative art, furniture, and utensils in public buildings, as
well as in private homes.
country with many examples of rich Art Deco architecture is
in Goiânia and cities like Cipó
(Bahia), Iraí (Rio Grande do Sul) and Rio de
Janeiro, especially in Copacabana. Also in the Brazilian Northeast — notably in
countryside cities, such as Campina Grande in the state of Paraiba — there is a noticeable group of Art Deco
buildings, which has been called “Sertanejo Art Deco” because of
its peculiar architectural features.
The reason for the
style being so widespread in Brazil is its coincidence with the
fast growth and radical economic changes of the country during
1930-1940. Art deco buildings are also numerous in
Montevideo, Uruguay, including the iconic Palacio Salvo, which was South America's tallest building when it
was built in the late 1920s.
Fair Park, located in Dallas, TX, stands as one of the
largest collections of Art Deco structures. Much of the Art Deco
heritage of Tulsa, Oklahoma remains from that city's oil boom
days. Houston, Texas has some
surviving buildings, such as the Houston City Hall, the JPMorgan
Chase Building and the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, though many are threatened by modern
development. In Beaumont, the Jefferson County Courthouse, built in 1931, is one of the few Art Deco
buildings still standing.
Zealand, was rebuilt in the Art Deco style after being
largely razed by the Hawke's Bay earthquake of 3 February 1931.
Although a few Art Deco
buildings were replaced with contemporary structures during the
1960s, 1970s and 1980s, most of the centre remained intact for long
enough to become recognized as architecturally unique, and from the
1990s onwards had been protected and restored. As of 2007, Napier
has been nominated for UNESCO World
status, the first cultural site in New Zealand to
London, the former Arsenal Stadium boasts the famous East Stand facade.
remains at the football club's old home
at Highbury, London Borough of Islington, which was vacated in the summer of
Opened in October 1936, the structure now has Grade II listed status
and has been
converted into flats. William Bennie, the man behind the project,
famously used the Art Deco style in the final design which was seen
as one of the most opulent and impressive stands in world football.
The London Underground
famous for many examples of Art Deco architecture .
Mumbai, India has the
second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after
China, at least sixty Art Deco buildings designed by
Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec
survive in downtown Shanghai.
Kansas City is home to the Kansas City
Power and Light Building which completed construction in 1931.
Art deco in India
building serves as a great example of the Great Depression
and its effect on Art Deco
construction. Original plans called for a twin tower to be built
next to it on its west side. However, it was never built due to
financial constraints. As a result, the 476 foot tower has a bare
west side, with no windows. Other examples of Art Deco buildings in
Kansas City include Municipal Auditorium , the Jackson County Courthouse , Kansas City City Hall; and 909
Ohio houses the Cincinnati Union Terminal, an Art Deco style passenger railroad station that
opened in 1933.
After the decline of railroad travel, most
of the building was converted to other uses. It now serves as the
Cincinnati Museum Center, which welcomes more than one million
visitors per year and is the 17th most visited museum in the United
Indonesia, the largest stock of Dutch East Indies era buildings are in the large cities of Java.
Bandung is of particular note with one of the largest
remaining collections of 1920s Art Deco buildings in the world,
with the notable work of several Dutch architects and planners,
including Albert Aalbers that added
the expressionist architecture style to the Art Deco by designing
the DENIS bank (1936) and renovated the Savoy Homann Hotel (1939),
Thomas Karsten, Henri Maclaine-Pont,
J Gerber and C.P.W.
Schoemaker. The Nederlandsche
Handel Maatschappij building (1929), now Museum Bank Mandiri, by J
de Bryun, AP Smiths, and C Van de Linde, and right across it, the
Station (1929) designed by Frans Johan Louwrens
Ghijsels, are the surviving Art Deco buildings in Jakarta.
Theater located along P.Burgos Street in Manila is one of
the few existing art deco buildings in the
Spain built profusely in Art Deco style during the period
of economic bounty between wars in which Spain remained
neutral. Particularly remarkable are the famous bath
house Las Arenas, the building hosting the Rectorship of the
of Valencia and the cinemas Rialto (currently the Filmoteca de
la Generalitat Valenciana),
Capitol (reconverted into an office building) and
Africa's most celebrated examples of art deco were
built in Eritrea during Italian
rule. Many buildings survive in Asmara, the
capital, and elsewhere.
Also there are many buildings in
downtown Casablanca, Morocco's economic capital.
one of the most famous surviving examples of the Art Deco style is
the famous RMS
Queen Mary, which is
currently moored in retirement in Long Beach, California as a floating museum and hotel, a true lasting
reminder to the past glory of the once numerous trans-Atlantic
ocean liners, and to the Art Deco period.
The popular video game "Bioshock", released in 2007, exhibits art
deco style throughout its underwater setting. "Rapture" was
constructed in the 1940's hence the style in question was highly
influential in the cities design.
The distinctive style of Art Deco has been echoed in many similar
movements since its early decline. Art Deco influenced later styles
such as Memphis
and the Pop art
movement. It also had an effect on post modern
architecture and styles, even
through to the late 1970s. Art Deco has also had a marked influence
on contemporary design.
House design in the United Kingdom
During the 1930s, Art Deco had a noticeable influence on house
design in the United Kingdom, as well as the design of various
public buildings. Straight, white-rendered house frontages rising
to flat roofs, sharply geometric door surrounds and tall windows,
as well as convex curved metal corner windows, were all
characteristic of that period.
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Recollection of the Paris Exhibition, Academy Editions,
London, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1975
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Art Museum 2008, retrieved on 2009-06-02.
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‘’Consumer Guide’’ 2007-09-27, retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- “1947-1948 Nash” by the Auto Editors of ‘’Consumer
Guide’’ 2007-09-27, retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- http://www.artdeconapier.com/Earthquake_8.aspx Napier
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York Finch College Museum Of Art, 1970).
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and Detail from the Twenties and Thirties. (London: Thames
& Hudson, 1999) ISBN 0500281491, ISBN 978-0500281499.
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(Author), Oriana Baddeley (Collaborator). Art Deco:
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and Regionalism (Norton, WW & Co., 2003). ISBN 0500281491;
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Decorative Arts of the 1920s & 1930's.(Thames & Hudson
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