The term Art Deco refers to a style that spanned the boom of the roaring 1920s and the bust of the Depression-ridden 1930s. It affected all forms of design, from the fine and decorative arts to fashion, film, photography, transport and product design.
The term Art Deco, coined in the 1960s, refers to a style that spanned the boom of the roaring 1920s and the bust of the Depression-ridden 1930s. It was the style of the flapper girl and the factory, the luxury ocean liner and the skyscraper, the fantasy world of Hollywood and the real world of the Harlem Renaissance. Art Deco was modern and it was everywhere.
Art Deco: Global Inspiration
In their creation of a modern style, Art Deco designers drew on distant and ancient cultures. The arts of Africa and East Asia provided rich sources of forms and materials. Archaeological discoveries fuelled a romantic fascination with early Egypt and Mesoamerica.
Art Deco: The 1925 Paris Exhibition
Many international exhibitions helped promote Art Deco, but none was more important than the Paris Exhibition of 1925. Dedicated to modern decorative arts, the exhibition brought together thousands of designs from around the world. With over 16 million visitors, it marked the high point of the first phase of Art Deco.
20th-Century Design Styles
During the 20th century, art and design was inescapably influenced by politics. Modernism and Art Deco were a reaction to the horrors of the First World War. Later, artists responded to the end of World War II and the fear and suspicion brought on by the Cold War tensions between East and West.