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Art Deco Artefacts

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 15 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
Art Deco Collecting Posters Prints

'Art deco', named after the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, (though the term was not used prior to the 1960's), embraces two very different approaches to the applied arts. On the one hand, designers made luxurious objects of the highest quality. On the other, modernists developed clean, simple shapes suitable for mass production.

Common Art Deco Themes

There are some common Art Deco themes that distinguish this style form all the others. Art Deco was influenced by the modern art movements of Cubism, Futurism, and Constructivism; however it also displays a modernisation of many themes and styles from past eras. For example ancient Greek, Roman and Mayan influences are detectable in many pieces of Art Deco. Modern elements also echo machine and automobile shapes and designs such as gears and wheels, incorporated with natural elements like flowers and sunbursts.

Art Deco Ceramics

If you are looking to start a collection of Art Deco Ceramics, a name that certainly stands out in the crowd is Clarice Cliff. Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1899, Clarice Cliff took the pottery world of the 1920s by storm. Now 80 years on, her work is still treasured by collectors and some of it is worth its weight in gold. Her colourful designs, considered gaudy by some, are admired the world over and Cliff is still considered one of the most influential designers in the history of pottery, today.

Art Deco Furniture

One of the most talented furniture designers of the Art Deco period was Emile Jacques Ruhlmann. His pieces are admired for their distinctive look, blending exotic woods such as macassar, ebony, amboyna, American burl walnut and rosewood with ivory, bronze and tortoiseshell. Ruhlmann's work has inspired many Art Deco designers and you will easily find affordable pieces that imitate his style.

Art Deco Art Prints

Art prints are another affordable way to begin your Art Deco collection. Art Deco artists are known for their design illustrations, many for Art Deco luxury haute couture and satirical reviews. They include:

Halouze- He developed a unique style in 1925 due to his use of cubist possibilities in décors, costumes and program covers for the French Music Hall.

Erte- After the owners and artistic directors of the music halls determined the annual theme for the shows, various tableaux were created to fill an evening's entertainment. Most of these were simply spectacles serving as vehicles for the star artists such as Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker, and the Dolly Sisters. The tableaux varied widely to include comic, dramatic and historic subjects, but musical entertainment was always the focal point. The costumes reflected the themes such as "the French Revolution", "Jewels", "The Garden of Metal", "The Seven Deadly Sins", "Flowers", as well as various animals, food, and sports.

Martin- illustrator, Graphic artist, posterist, fashion designer, ballet and theatre set and costume designer. Studied at the Montpelier Ecole des Beaux Arts, Academie Julian and Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Paris. Contributor to the French fashion journals Gazette du Bon Ton, Modes et Manieres d'Aujourd'hui, Journal Des Dames et Des Modes, and Vogue. His illustrated books include the hat catalogue "Les Modes en 1912," the erotic "Mascarades et Amusettes" 1920, and "Sports et Divertissements" 1919 in a collaboration with composer Erik Satie.

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