What is Art Deco?
Art Deco is a decorative style with characteristics that are defined by precise and bold geometric shapes with strong distinct colors. Art Deco pieces were often made out of expensive materials including Bakelite, glass, precious metals, ivory, and rock crystal. The style was used in many avenues including in the creation of household objects and in architecture. Art Deco became almost infused into society with everyday objects taking on the style.
Above are art deco style glass vases which were created in 1933.
Art Deco Time Frame
The movement technically began in 1908, although it would not get popular until the 1920’s. The style eventually reached its peak and died out shortly after the outbreak of World War II around 1935. There was a brief renewed interest in the style in the 1960’s.
Art Nouveau vs. Art Deco
Art Nouveau and Art Deco are sometimes confused. Art Deco replaced the Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau featured more intricate details and curves while Art Deco emphasized strong lines and geometric shapes.
Art Deco Architecture
Architecture was one of the biggest elements reflective of the Art Deco style.
An Art Deco influenced building is sleek but not minimal, giving the building a grand feeling.
- Use of materials like stucco, terracotta, decorative glass, chrome, steel, and aluminum
- Ornate, geometric detailing
- Bold use of contrasting colors
- Decorative geometric windows
- Fragmented shapes
- Use of parapets and spires
Art Deco Inspired Buildings and Landmarks
- New York City’s Rockefeller Center (especially its interiors)
- The Chrysler Building
- The Empire State Building
- Art Deco historic district in South Beach Miami, Florida
The Chrysler Building Elevators
Art Deco Historic District in South Beach Miami, Florida
The South Beach historic district has 800 structures recognized as being of historical significance, most built between 1923 and 1943.
Art Deco style furniture is known for its muted colors with shiny metal accents, and eccentric shapes.
Art Deco fan backed side chairs
Tamara de Lempicka – Young Lady with Gloves, 1930
If you enjoyed this glimpse into the art deco style and movement and would like to learn more, join us for Art ExplorationTeen Edition on May 19th at 2pm and get to follow along with a fun art project inspired by art deco style.
If you want to know more about art history, explore these fun titles: