Art Deco

art deco (ärt dĕkō´; är dākō´, ärt) or art moderne (är môdĕrn´, ärt), term that designates a style of design that originated in French luxury goods shortly before World War I and became ubiquitously and internationally popular during the 1920s and 30s. Coined in the 1960s, the name derives from the 1925 Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts, where the style reached its apex. Art deco is characterized by long, thin forms, curving surfaces, and geometric patterning. The practitioners of the style attempted to describe the sleekness they thought expressive of the machine age. The style influenced all aspects of the era's art and architecture, as well as the decorative, graphic, and industrial arts. Works executed in the art deco style range from skyscrapers and ocean liners to toasters, furniture by designers such as France's Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879–1933), and accessories such as the elegant glass works of René Lalique. Since the 1960s and 70s the style has undergone a resurgence of popularity. Napier, New Zealand, which was rebuilt after a 1931 earthquake, has the largest unmixed concentration of art deco architecture in the world. Noted U.S. monuments to the style include New York's Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Building, the South Beach section of Miami Beach, Fla., and Fair Park, in Dallas, Tex.

See B. Hillier, Art Deco (1968), Y. Brunhammer, Art Deco Style (1984); V. Arwas, Art Deco (1985); A. Duncan, ed., Encyclopedia of Art Deco (1988); P. Bayer, Art Deco Architecture (1999); T. and C. Benton and G. Wood, ed., Art Deco: 1910–1939 (2003); C. Breeze, American Art Deco (2003); B. Hillier and S. Escritt, Art Deco Style (2003); G. Wood, Essential Art Deco (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Art Deco: Selected full-text books and articles

All about Art Deco By Pacitti, Michael Art Business News, Spring 2014
Graphic Style: From Victorian to Digital By Steven Heller; Seymour Chwast Harry N. Abrams, 2000 (New edition)
Hollywood beyond the Screen: Design and Material Culture By Anne Massey Berg, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. One "The Jazz Age: American Ascendancy and the Debut of Deco"
American Culture in the 1920s By Susan Currell Edinburgh University Press, 2009
Louis Rorimer: A Man of Style By Leslie A. Piña Kent State University Press, 1990
Art Deco Renaissance By Silvester-Carr, Denise History Today, Vol. 49, No. 7, July 1999
A Celebration of Style By Silvester-Carr, Denise History Today, Vol. 53, No. 4, April 2003
Art Deco's Devotees Keep Style Alive By Toto, Christian The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 24, 2003
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