Art Deco

The term "Art Deco" has its origins in the 1925 French art exposition at Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Art Deco was not labeled as a separate category from Modernism until a 1966 retrospective on the 1925 exposition. Art Deco was a globally popular style and affected many areas of design. It was used widely in consumer products such as automobiles, furniture, cookware, china, textiles, jewelry, clocks, and electronic items such as radios, telephones, and jukeboxes. It also influenced architecture, interior design, industrial design, fashion, graphic arts, and cinema. Patricia Bayer describes Art Deco as "an architecture of ornament, geometry, energy, retrospection, optimism, color, texture, light and at times even symbolism." American Art Deco conveyed both beauty and strength in a time when economic depression left much of the country unemployed and embittered.  During the 1930s many public buildings were decorated in the Art Deco style, exuding nationalism through massive structures with great coloring, inspiring murals and strong sculpture reminiscent of Roman republicanism.

 

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