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The Art Deco Story

The Art Deco period began around 1900 and ended around 1930. If, in fact, it ever did have an ending. At least, however, this is the period during which the greatest volume of work was produced. And it wasn’t just the Arts. The style and design aspects with all it’s geometric forms permeated almost every facet of life. Including, architecture, clothing, industry, jewelry, home furnishings, appliances, interior design and you name it, just about anything you can think of.

What finally killed the movement? Well, we like the concept of martyrdom, an untimely death due to the financial crash of 1929, plus a worldwide depression, then the second World War interrupted any recovery and destroyed tons of the stuff and, finally the pre-occupation with post war reconstruction left little time for non-essential items.

We here will be concerning ourselves with the decorative accessory aspects of it, only. And really, we will only be scratching at the surface of a very large body of work. The current day revival of Art Deco is, of course, a transitional event. That is, it comes and goes in degrees of popularity but always comes back and never really goes away. It has a permanent niche in our society, probably due to it’s uniqueness, it’s high style and diversity of geometric design.

What is it anyway? Well, let’s say that it is connected to things of the past including things done by the ancient Greeks, copies with a twist of Middle Eastern subjects, variations on Egyptian artifacts, a natural extension of Art Nouveau and a whole variety of other influences not so directly related. In addition, today people are likely to call just about anything remotely similar, Art Deco. For example, things “Moderne”, things of “Realism”, “Cubism”, things “Art Nouveau” and even things contemporary. Actually these other movements either preceded, ran parallel to or immediately followed the Art Deco period. With time, the separations between the various elements tend to blur and even blend.

Does it matter? The answer is.....only if it matters to you. The reality is, everything is connected.

If you wish to really know more about Art Deco, there are several books we can refer you to.


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Last Updated 4/23/00