Art Deco

Art Deco
Farewell Engraved artwork by Georges Barbier

Farewell Engraved by Henry Reidel 1920 (Litho) [Georges Barbier]

Era: 1920s-1940s
Related: Art Nouveau
Influencers Tamara de Lempicka
Gilbert Rohde
Streamline Moderne

The Art Deco Movement caught momentum with the sudden growth of industrialization that happened before WWI. It led to a birth of an exceptional and independent style, which was a perfect blend of traditional designs and modern artwork that was inclusive of industrial materials, mechanical designs, vibrant colors, geometrical patterns and prolific decoration.


Art Deco was further influenced by certain art forms such as Cubism, Modernism, Constructivism & Futurism. All these aspects made Art Deco quite different from its precursor “Art Nouveau” that was more natural or organic in terms of appearance, and featured curved lines with more detailed patterns.

The Depression era was when the Art Deco movement became stronger, which further played a major role in influencing a diverse range of art forms that we see today such as painting, decorative art, furniture design, architecture, sculpture and product design.

Tamara de Lempicka was a highly influential Art Deco painter who displayed a vibrant and audacious style that further exemplified the urbaneness of the Art Deco movement, which becomes quite apparent from her 1925 iconic piece Auto-Portrait (Tamara in the Green Bugatti).

Although the Art Deco movement started in Europe, it highly influenced the American architecture & interior design during the 20s and 30s. Some of the prominent examples can be witnessed in Chicago, L.A. and New York in the form of renowned skyscrapers and other smaller projects.

The Chrysler, Daily News and Empire State buildings exemplify Art Deco design in buildings that are situated in New York City.

In fact, when it comes to Los Angeles, the majority of Art Deco architecture can we witnessed along Wilshire Boulevard in forms of famous structures like Wiltern Theatre, Pellissier & Bullocks Wilshire buildings. The 20s and 30s were the time of urban renovation, and this was the time when the majority of Deco architecture was built.

Miami Beach, FL is home to several Art Deco buildings. However, the most prominent ones are the 30-something apartment & hotel blocks which were built between the 20s and 40s. Since these buildings have been categorized as protected buildings, they have been through a lot of restoration projects, which ensure that they look exactly the same like they were in those days.

Frank Lloyd Wright, an internationally acclaimed architect, used several elements of Art Deco in most of his buildings. The exterior of Park Inn Hotel situated in Mason City, Iowa and the block patterns used in the renowned Ennis house situated in L.A. represent examples of Art Deco integration design.

Besides this, Art Deco even played a significant role in influencing certain aspects of product design such as cars, furniture, textiles, jewelry, chins, industrial design, electronics, clocks, fashion, etc.

In fact, Gilbert Rohde used certain elements of Modernism and Art Deco for creating totally unique and spectacular furniture items which became quite popular. Rohde made modern design popular among Americans with his classy, clean and contemporary furniture.

During the mid-30s, a new Streamline Moderne design style influenced the Art Deco movement. Streamline Moderne was based on the principles of aerodynamics, which was further applied to several products—i ncluding trains, refrigerators, ships, automobiles and other household products. In fact, in 1933 Streamline styling was used to produce the Chrysler Airflow. Although, it didn’t fare well commercially, today it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cars that gave birth to a new design concept.


However, it was during the WWII when Art Deco lost its popularity. People started considering it too luxurious and loud, and it was after the war when Americans started using a simpler and plain designs.

Famous Art & Architecture

Art Deco: Examples of Artwork

The Kiss artwork by Tamara de Lempicka

The Kiss

Portrait of Ira

Portrait Fille