1920’s – Early 1940’s
Art Deco is a worldwide style with a diversity of expressions in all the design arts, including architecture, interior design, furniture, decorative arts, graphic design, book arts, fashion and film.
Art Deco architecture develops from the application of stylized and abstracted geometric, floral, and figural decoration to classical and modernistic forms.
Art Deco Concepts:
1. designs reflect a coordinated and integrated approach for total unity
2. some have classical elements (like columnns) and others reflect a more Modernist approach with simple geometric forms
3. Interiors reflect a variety of design approaches: such as: classically inspired with lavish ornament, architecture with verticality, stepped lines, and profuse stylized ornament.
Art Moderne Concepts:
1. During the 1920’s with the advent of Art Moderne, buildings, interiors, and objects show influences from trains, automobiles, and airplanes.
2. Forms become simplified, sleek, and efficient.
3. Surfaces are smooth and corners rounded.
4. Horizontality is emphasized through shape and with contour lines.
5. Ornament is kept to a minimum so as to not disturb an aerodynamic appearance.
But I find the best way to understand architecture is through photos.
Art Deco and Art Moderne manifest in several types of furniture. High-style French furniture is usually custom designed to suit a particular space for a wealthy and sophisticated clientele who see interiors as settings for social rituals.
Elegance, individuality, excellent craftsmanship, and expensive materials define these furnishings.
Art Moderne furniture, usually mass-produced and sometimes created by a designer, has streamlined, geometric or biomorphic forms, simple contours, and no ornament.
Types: new to the period is the cocktail cabinet to hold liquors, barware, and glasses and the coffee table.
Relationships: repeats architectural and interior character in form and motif
Symbols and Motifs:
Natural motifs include stylized flowers and garlands, banana leaves, stylized water fountains, feathers, doves, deer or antelopes, elephants, greyhounds, exotic animals, human figures, sun rays and sunbursts. Geometric motifs that are machine-inspired include circles, spirals, squares, rectangles, diamond shapes, chevrons, lightning bolts, parallel lines, and striped bands. Female figures appear as spotlights in wall murals and decorative arts objects. Other exotic motifs derive from the Ballet Russes, Egypt, African art, and Oriental influences.
Designers and consumers choose from a variety of decorative accessories for both Art Deco and Art Moderne rooms. Common accessories include fabric covered, painted, or lacquered screens,
wood, metal , or Bakelite clocks,
ceramic, glass or metal tea, coffee, and cocktail services,
mirrors in wooden or metal frames,
wooden and metal sculptures,
Native American baskets and pottery, and posters, prints, and paintings.
Artists, designers, and traditional manufacturers produce ceramics, glass, and metalwork.
Unless intended for mass production, the work of artists consists of individual, high style examples of Art Deco/Art Moderne.
Manufacturers adapt high-style designs for mass production to appeal to consumers.