About Art Deco

The Art Deco movement evolved during a period of restlessness; it was a time of transition and hope between two World Wars. As Victorian Art helped define the mode of the nineteenth century, Art Deco, along with Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism became the face of the twentieth century.

Opposed to the pictorial realism of the Renaissance, Deco stylized and fantasized reality. Borrowing first from the Persian, Russian, and Oriental schools, later inspired by Egyptian, American Indian and Aztec arts, bold sweep became bolder statements as the new Art Deco form emerged creating another dimension of the modern era.

Modernist forms of the Art Deco movement flourished during the roaring twenties recognized as Art Moderne, Jazz age, Machine Age or Streamline. Committed to modernism and mass production, Art Deco, inventively styled and functional in design mirrored an age of acceleration and discovery. The artist began to paint with unrestricted color and movement, achieving untried realisms.

Sweeping throughout Europe and America, Deco invaded every vestige of life and industry. From architecture to household accessories – the automobile, the theater, and fashion – all moved in the swing and sway of Art Deco. Sensationalism flourished in a carefree way of life embracing the excitement of the early twentieth century.

Art Deco regained popularity with new enthusiasm when historian Bevis Hillier, in 1968, published the first book on the subject, Art Deco of the ’20s and ’30s.