Art Deco

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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 anti-traditional 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.

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Art Deco
Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann
Jean Dunand
Paul Poiret

Artists

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (28 August 1879 – 15 November 1933), (sometimes called Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann), was a French furniture designer and interior decorator, who was one of the most important figures in the Art Deco movement. His furniture featured sleek designs, expensive and exotic materials and extremely fine craftsmanship, and became a symbol of the luxury and modernity of Art Deco. It also produced a reaction from other designers and architects, such as Le Corbusier, who called for simpler, functional furniture.






Jean Dunand

Jules-John Dunand was born in Lancy, Switzerland, on 20 May 1877. He later adopted the French first name of Jean, and became a naturalized French citizen in 1922. At the age of fourteen, he began studying sculpture at the Geneva School of Industrial Arts, where he won several prizes and received his diploma. In 1897 he moved to Paris and begn to work as a sculptor and a copper craftsman. He participated in the 1904 Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts, and in 1905 he was selected a member, after completing an interior for the Countess de Bearn. He worked with a very wide range of materials, including steel, copper, pewter and silver, which he worked with hammer and glided, and encrusted with gold or mother-of-pearl, and then often decorated with enamels and patinas. His works included vases, plates, boxes, and jewelry.


Paul Poiret

Jules-John Dunand was born in Lancy, Switzerland, on 20 May 1877. He later adopted the French first name of Jean, and became a naturalized French citizen in 1922. At the age of fourteen, he began studying sculpture at the Geneva School of Industrial Arts, where he won several prizes and received his diploma. In 1897 he moved to Paris and begn to work as a sculptor and a copper craftsman. He participated in the 1904 Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts, and in 1905 he was selected a member, after completing an interior for the Countess de Bearn. He worked with a very wide range of materials, including steel, copper, pewter and silver, which he worked with hammer and glided, and encrusted with gold or mother-of-pearl, and then often decorated with enamels and patinas. His works included vases, plates, boxes, and jewelry.

Examples

Many of Art Deco's greatest examples come from France which is responsible for the start of the Art Deco movement. The following examples are from French designers who were responsible for advancing the popularity of Art Deco.