A Celebration of Style

By Silvester-Carr, Denise | History Today, April 2003 | Go to article overview

A Celebration of Style


Silvester-Carr, Denise, History Today


THE STREAMLINE DECORATIVE style that influenced a huge variety of objects and buildings in the interwar years is being celebrated in Art Deco 1910-1939, a major exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum from March 27th.

Strangely, the term Art Deco was coined only in 1966, a quarter of a century after it had fallen from fashion. Prior to this it was known as Jazz Moderne, Moderne or even zigzag but Art Deco, the subtitle of the exhibition Les Annees 25 at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1966, was used by The Times in a headline to an article and was picked up shortly afterwards by, among others, Elle magazine and Osbert Lancaster who, writing about the 1930s buildings in Cannes, described them as `an abundance of peach coloured glass sandblasted with vaguely cubist designs'.

Although the style was not confined to France, its popularity had been kick-started by the French at the ground-breaking Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925. The majority of the twenty-two pavilions on the edge of the Seine were devoted to Parisian department stores, though Britain, Czechoslovakia and Russia were among the countries represented. Rene Lalique's glass fountain, which dominated the Perfume Pavilion, became a symbol of the exhibition, and the luxurious, rounded furniture shown by Jean-Emile Ruhlmann remains the apogee of the style to this day. So much so, that the V&A is bringing together a group of works exhibited in Ruhlmann's pavilion, including Jean Dupass's painting `Les Perruches' (The Parrots).

Art Deco was international. It transformed skylines from Shanghai to Johannesburg to New York, where the soaring Chrysler building was surmounted by a stainless steel sunburst, and it affected the design of everything from fashion and furniture to utilitarian domestic objects. Busby Berkeley adopted it in Hollywood musicals and jewellery made in the 1920s and '30s by Cartier, using Mughal and Egyptian sources, epitomises the style. In Britain, the ceramics of Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper became everyday household ware, and tubular steel chairs and chromium-plated tables gained a foothold in English homes. In town centres individual and striking buildings of architectural beauty were designed by Harry Weedon for Oscar Deutsch, founder of the Odeon cinema circuit, though the interiors did not always conform to Weedon's ideas: Mrs Deutsch liked to gauge local conditions, specifying gold colours `in impeccable taste' for Hampstead and Haverstock Hill and half-timbering for old and historic Faversham! …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Celebration of Style
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.