Art Deco began in Paris in the early 20th Century but it didn’t begin to flourish until after WW1. The term Art Deco derived from the title of the 1925 Parisian Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifis et Industriels Modernes, which emphasised the “Arts Decoratifs” or the decorative arts such as furniture, glass, ceramics and textiles.

The style of Art Deco is charaterised by

  • geometric and angular shapes.
  • chrome, glass, shiney fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles.
  • stylised images of aeroplanes, cars, skyscrapers and cruise liners.
  • nature motifs – shells, flowers and sunrises.
  • theatrical contrasts – highly polished wood and glossy black lacquer mixed with satins and furs.

Buildings built during the Art Deco period and which represent a strong art deco style include the Chrysler Building in New York, City Hall in Buffalo New York, The Empire State Building and The Fisher Building in Detroit.

Some big names of the Art Deco period incude:

Eileen Gray: furniture,

Raymond Templier: jewellery,

Clarice Cliff: china,

Rene Lalique: glass,

Paul Poiret: fashion.

Eileen Gray Transat Chair

Raymond Templier, Platinum, 18 Karat White Gold and Diamond bangle

A Paul Poiret design

Clarice Cliff “Age of Jazz” figures

Rene Lalique amber glass 'Archers' vase, c.1930

Art Deco fashion

Art Deco fashion

Art Deco poster advertising The World's Fair in Chicago