Was Art Deco the last stand for artists, when society still maintained respect of the craftsman and their contribution to everyday objects, architecture and the skills required?
Art Deco was definitely a period of celebrating luxury which equated to artisan designed consumer goods. This luxury however was being realized through the beginning of manufacturing and more specifically it heralded the beginning of mass production. Was Art Deco the beginning of the end for household artisan goods?
Straight from Wikipedia:
Art Deco is an influential visual arts design style that first appeared in France just before World War I and began flourishing internationally in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s before its popularity waned after World War II. It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.
One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favoured by its predecessor Art Nouveau. Historian Bevis Hillier defined Art Deco as “an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production”. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.
Top image, Young lady with gloves, by Tamara de Lempicka.
Personally I am not the biggest fan of Art Deco, it is too harsh, mechanical and angular for me. I am more aligned to its earlier cousin Art Nouveau with its softer, curvaceous and nature based inspirations. I do enjoy some of its female fashion, figurines and glassware items which speak loudly of elegance and celebration .. almost like fireworks! It has also left such a beautiful legacy in architecture we still see today, what do you think of Art Deco?
Below is heritage listed Chisholm House in Perth, Australia. Built by renowned architect in 1939 Oswald Chisholm, the house was brought back to its former glory by recent owner over the past 14 years.
Always the artist