Cool facts about Art Deco8:58 AM
Art Deco is the name of an artistic style that began in the 1920's. Even though it originated in France, Art Deco found wide acceptance around the world. It represented luxury and prosperity as a reaction to the austerity imposed by World War I. One of the most famous examples of Art Deco architecture is probably the Chrysler building in New York.
The other day I went to a guided tour of an Art Deco collection and I learned a couple of interesting things about it:
1) The French and American Art Deco styles are slightly different. The first focused mostly on furniture and was incredibly individual and avant-garde. It was also inspired by French colonialism. Materials such as ivory and ebony were being brought from the African colonies, so artists incorporated these new found materials in the creation of furniture.
2) Speaking of materials, Art Deco artists are known for using very unusual materials such as shark and snake skin and egg shelves.
3) Art Deco and Art Nouveau are different styles. (This is a question that always baffled me and I was happy to have understood the difference a little more). Art Nouveau draws inspiration from nature, so the shapes are flowing, like leaves of plants. The development of the microscope inspired Art Nouveau artists to depict smaller creatures such as dragon flies and butterflies. Art Deco draws inspiration from modernity and the City and its shapes are more geometrical.
4) Art Deco was also seen in jewelry. The aesthetics of the jewelry fitted the newest fashion (the sleek silhouettes of the dresses and women's short haircuts).
5) Artists had to adapt their creations during the Great Depression. For example, some jewelry was made to be worn in more than one way, like as a bracelet and as a brooch.
Do you like Art Deco architecture and aesthetics?
Illustrations by George Barbier, via The Wisteria Bridge