Art Deco Essays

 

3

Introduction

A study of any art movement is incomplete without first putting it into its historical context. One has tounderstand the social, political, economic and cultural forces of the day that helped shape and mould theart movement into what it became.The Art Deco movement took place between the two World Wars, during the Roaring Twenties – “

aworld dominated by a desire for speed, luxury and opulence

(i)

”. It was the Swing era, of big bands and jazz music (of which dancers and singers were often depicted as the subject matter). It was the Golden eraof Hollywood where celebrities reveled in glamour (portraying an image of luxurious extravagance). On adarker note, it was also the era of the mafia who ruled the underground (film noire). Most importantly, itwas the era that heralded mass communications and mass travel - by car, train, ship and plane(international outlook).All these forces gave rise to a demand for luxury goods in every form - jewellery, ornaments, interiors,extravagant furniture and fittings. There was a desire to look towards the future and throw away theshackles of the past as Art Deco broke away from traditional styles to create a futuristic look. It wasinternational in style and drew inspiration from the art of exotic faraway cultures.Art Deco was considered a style of cool sophistication for the fashionable upper classes and coveredevery sphere of the decorative arts – architecture, interiors, furniture, ceramics, glass, graphics, sculpture,metal ware and jewellery.Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco waspurely decorative. It is an amalgamation of many different styles and movements of the early 20thcentury, including Neoclassical, Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, Bauhaus, Art Nouveau, andFuturism

(ii)

.

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  • 1973.154.1

  • 23.116

  • 2001.723a,b

  • 23.14.8

  • 30.123ab

  • 2003.608a-qq

  • 1998.194ab

  • 2004.84

  • 2004.120

  • 1997.110

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  • 2001.410ab

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  • 1976.414.3a-ggg

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David-Weill desk

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"La Moisson" (The Harvester)

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Dress ornament

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Textile sample

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Polar Bear

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"Harmonies: Intérieurs de Ruhlmann" Portfolio

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Vase

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L'Oiseau dans la Lumière (Bird in Light)

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Tourbillons (Whirlwinds) vase

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Maquette for Arbre Cubiste (Cubist Tree)

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Dressing table

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Stool

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"Fortissimo"

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"État" Cabinet

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Lamp

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"Sunrise/Sunset" Screen

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"History of Navigation" Mural

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