Cool facts about Art Deco

8:58 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

You Might Also Like

10 comments

  1. I love both Art Deco and Art Nouveau...and thank you for pinpointing the differences, because I tend to get them confused. ;)

    I have an Art Deco ring which has a little bit of family history - my grandfather in Finland, who died before I was born, liked buying antiques and art and things at auction, and once he bought a box which among other things contained this ring. I have an obsession with rings, and my mum passed the ring on to me in my teens. I don't think I realised till I was a bit older how beautiful and unusual it really is. It has a square black stone in a silver setting with a lovely edge design.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a vintage Art Deco ring that has been in the family for generations?! I'm so jealous! ;) The way you described it, it sounds very beautiful. Do you use it often, or you prefer to keep it as a collectible?

      How amazing that your grandfather liked collecting antiques. I love going to antique shops and I tend to keep my eye open for beautiful jewelry but I can never really know if a piece of jewelry is really Art Deco. The other day I bought a small scarf which looks a little Art Deco, but I'm most certain it's modern (it cost 50 cents for starters).

      Delete
  2. This is so interesting! Thank you for the info. There's a smallish town in New Zealand called Napier that has a lot of Art Deco buildings. There was an earthquake in the 1930s, so they rebuilt all the buildings in art deco, it's amazing to wander around. They even have an art deco festival every year it's very cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't heard of Napier before. I Googled it and found out they call themselves "The Art Deco capital of the world" - that's so cool. It's amazing thst they rebuilt everything in Art Deco style after the earthquake. I wish I could go to these festivals! xx

      Delete
  3. Word of one who has been to New York twice and thinks the city belongs to her: The Chrysler Building is WONDERFUL!!! So is the Flatiron Building and the carvings at the Rockefeller Center. Sooooo 1930 ... And one of my favorites is Alfons Mucha. If I am not really mistaken, he did some illustrations of Sarah Bernhard ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really want to visit New York, those buildings sure look amazing. And I looked some of Mucha's paintings up and they are really beautiful! xx

      Delete
  4. Interesting facts. I learned something new today

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Paula I want you to know that I really admire your post. I learned a lot. I wish you could post something more about vintage art deco rings too and how it differs from Edwardian ring. I find your writing very nice. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, even though I love jewelry I actually don't know that much about it... I buy it from antique shops and from fast fashion stores like Forever 21, so knowledge of jewelry is very limited, I'm afraid. xx

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! Do come back because I usually reply to comments here.

Subscribe and Follow

Instagram