From the roaring 1920’s and the depression-ridden 1930’s, a style emerged that affected all forms of design: fine art, fashion, photography and film, and product design. The term Art Deco was coined in the 1960’s. It began in France but quickly spread. It was fuelled and expressed through Hollywood style.
Art Deco celebrated the mechanised, modern world but also drew on tradition. It reflected the plurality of contemporary art but unlike Modernism, it responded to the human need for pleasure. It was a time of decadence and idle, nouveau rich classes.
It was adaptable and gave free reign to imagination. The result was an eclectic style that drew on many sources, historic European styles, rich colours, urban imagery of machines and even ancient cultures.
I have been working with forms and repeated forms in my assignment, Duplicating Form.
I cut several shapes out of sheet pewter to make into pieces of jewellery. I started playing around with them and putting them together and came up with this.
I instantly recognised the resemblance to an Art Deco style, repeated geometric shapes and felt this was perfect for demonstrating ‘Duplicating Form’.
I made earrings and a pendant, scaling the pieces to required size.
. With the layering of the pieces, rather than keep all pieces silver coloured, I applied nitric acid to some. Nitric acid colours pewter black. I wanted a graduated effect so the back piece was coloured black, the middle piece grey with some patternation to add effect(achieved by removing some of the black colouration and indenting with a small, sharp hammer) and the top piece remained silver.
This is similar to some Art Deco mirrors I had seen.
Sources that I have used in my research.
Art Deco, also called style moderne , movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s. Its name was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited. Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion. Its products included both individually crafted luxury items and mass-produced wares, but, in either case, the intention was to create a sleek and antitraditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication.
The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied, often expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances (plastics, especially Bakelite; vita-glass; and ferroconcrete) in addition to natural ones (jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal). Though Art Deco objects were rarely mass-produced, the characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity of the machine and for the inherent design qualities of machine-made objects (e.g., relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and unvaried repetition of elements).
Among the formative influences on Art Deco were Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus, Cubism, and Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Decorative ideas came from American Indian, Egyptian, and early classical sources as well as from nature. Characteristic motifs included nude female figures, animals, foliage, and sun rays, all in conventionalized forms.
Most of the outstanding Art Deco creators designed individually crafted or limited-edition items. They included the furniture designers Jacques Ruhlmann and Maurice Dufrène; the architect Eliel Saarinen; metalsmith Jean Puiforcat; glass and jewelry designer René Lalique; fashion designer Erté; artist-jewelers Raymond Templier, H.G. Murphy, and Wiwen Nilsson; and the figural sculptor Chiparus. The fashion designer Paul Poiret and the graphic artist Edward McKnight Kauffer represent those whose work directly reached a larger audience. New York City’s Rockefeller Center (especially its interiors supervised by Donald Deskey; built between 1929 and 1940), the Chrysler Building by William Van Alen, and the Empire State Building by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon are the most monumental embodiments of Art Deco. During the 1930s the style took over South Beach in Miami, Florida, producing an area known as the Art Deco historic district.
Although the style went out of fashion in most places during World War II, beginning in the late 1960s there was a renewed interest in Art Deco design. Into the 21st century Art Deco continued to be a source of inspiration in such areas as decorative art and fashion and jewelry design.
South Devon College Moodle. 3D Design-Contextual Studies.
Parallel but opposite to Bauhaus/ modern movements
Intellectual, social reform led movement
Mid 1960s the term Art Deco was coined
Originally a French movement quickly developed internationally and at its height fuelled and expressed through Hollywood style
Bold/ lively /extravagant
Noisy/ superficial – not intellectually driven
Denial of world tensions
New age of decadence
Class led – nouveau riche; idle classes
Post war extravagance
Symbolised power and wealth
Attainment of wealth and status
Hollywood heyday dawning
Adding to style of escapism in the movies
Development of the luxury market of travel – liners/ cars/ hotels
Taste for the exotic – Josephine Baker
Strong graphics – commercial art form
Artists – Mouron : travel agencies
Tamara de Lempicka – portraits 1902 – 1970
Steamline art deco style epitomised
“Simplicity of form contrasts at the present time with richness of materials…. Modern simplicities are rich and sumptuous.”
Fashion and architecture leaders of style
Emergence of major names – established companies
World of theatre and costume
Outside influences rather than the world of art
Arabia and the orient
Tutankhamen discovery 1923
Use of new materials
Plastics – bakelite – fashion jewellery
Purely synthetic material – rise of the chemical industries – Leo Baekeland – durable/ colourful & inexpensive
Clarice cliff – domestic items sold through Woolworths
Furniture embraces Hollywood style and visual extravagance
Glass and metal
Industrial production techniques
Women begin to have power as consumers and designers
Eileen Gray 1878 – 1976 – Irish architect & designer
Studied in London, practised in Paris
Worked with Le Courbusier and JP Oud
1st steel tubing furniture designed in 1925
Adjustable table E1027
1972 “Royal Designer to Industry” RSA
chair Pierre Chareau – expensive exotic materials 1928
coffee machine – alphonso and renato Bialetti – aluminium and black plastic
finished by hand – expensive – post war mass produced
expanded use of new metals – stainless steel and aluminium
architecture that epitomises the style
Chrysler Building – designed to reflect the elegance of the Chrysler car 1930
Symbols of power
After researching Art Deco I found that it was not all geometric shapes. A lot of inspiration came from other sources such as natural forms.
I am currently designing and making copper jewellery, namely torque necklaces, and they are also inspired by Art Deco. The necklaces focus on the ‘natural form’ in Art Deco rather than repeated geometric shapes.
Art Deco necklace.
My copper, torque necklace (unfinished).
The form for this necklace came from a lily.