Well here is something I really didn’t know and found very interesting. Art Deco wasn’t actually named that until 1966! It was referred to by that name by Patricia Bayer on her retrospective of the 1925 exposition where it was first just an idea. Who knew?! Well, maybe some of you did but that was news to me. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let’s start at the beginning.
I decided this week to talk about the Art Deco design element for two reasons. The first being that I love, love, love Art Deco. It’s my favorite style, just above mid-century modern. The second reason is that I found this pretty little powder or trinket jar to sell in my shop (above). So I decided that I would delve into what made Art Deco what it is.
You know me, I like the history of it all, so here is what I found. According to this Bryn Mawr College page on Art Deco, in 1925 there was an exposition in Paris called Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes. The expo was supposed to highlight nouveau design from around the world.
Apparently, Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce at the time, decided America didn’t have anything new enough to enter. So he sent experts to the expo to basically take the shapes and designs they saw there and adapt them to American architecture.
There were members from the American Institute of Architecture, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The New York Times. Art Deco designs continued from 1925 to 1941.
Why it fell out of favor is beyond me because I love it so much, but times change. As the Bryn Mawr College Art Deco page states, the movement went beyond just building architecture but found its way into furniture, flatware and interior design. It focused on geometry, machinery, botany, nationalism and color. It also incorporated American Indian models and Pre-Columbian structures.
It was beauty at a time when the economic depression of the 30’s left so many unemployed and angry. Many buildings during this time were decorated and built in the Art Deco style. I love the rounded shapes mixed with the geometric pieces. The design was meant to convey “wealth and sophistication” (Britannica.com).
According to Britannica.com “its distinguishing features are simple, clean shapes often with a “streamlined” look.” They used a mix of natural and man-made (Bakelite, plastics, ferroconcrete) materials.
Some of the influences of Art Deco came from Art Nouveau, Bauhaus (German) and Cubism. Many Art Deco items were not mass-produced, especially furniture and jewelry. Some popular names attributed to this movement include René Lalique, Erté, Donald Deskey (Rockefeller Center), and William Van Alen (the Chrysler Building). Many examples of Art Deco architecture can be seen in Miami, Florida.
This has been a short history of the Art Deco movement. I learned something while I was researching this for the blog and I hope you learned a little by reading it! If you are looking for some Art Deco treasures, stop by the Vintage Eve’s shop and look around or in any of the shops that are credited in this blog. I always enjoy hearing from my readers so drop me a note if you enjoyed this post.
Have a great week!
Don’t forget, if you like any of these items, clicking on them will take you to an awesome Etsy shop where you may purchase them.
Where do I party? At Adirondack Girl @ Heart of course!