Art Deco is a visual arts style that first appeared in France just before World War I and became a major international movement during the 1920s and 1930s. The movement influenced the design of many different types of things, including buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners.
The name "Art Deco" is derived from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris, where the style was first exhibited. However, it was not until the late 1960s that the term "Art Deco" was widely used to describe this style of art and design.
Art Deco design is characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors. It represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress. The style was a rejection of the organic, flowing lines of the earlier Art Nouveau movement, instead favoring more streamlined, symmetrical designs. It was influenced by a variety of styles and movements of the early 20th century, including Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, Bauhaus, Art Nouveau, and Futurism.
In architecture, Art Deco buildings are characterized by their sleek, linear, often rectangular geometric forms, arranged and broken up by curved ornamental elements. Famous Art Deco buildings include the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building in New York, and the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis. Many other cities around the world have noteworthy examples of Art Deco architecture.
Art Deco was also a popular choice for interior design during its heyday, with an emphasis on sleek surfaces, bold geometric patterns, and lavish ornamentation. The movement made a significant impact on the design of furniture, lighting, and other household objects, using new materials like chrome, stainless steel, and plastic.
In fashion, Art Deco's influence was visible in the flapper look of the 1920s and 1930s, with women's dresses featuring geometric patterns, and jewelry often designed with angular, symmetrical patterns. Art Deco design also influenced the look of many everyday objects, from clocks and radios to cars and posters.
Art Deco fell out of fashion during the 1940s, partly due to the austerity measures of World War II. However, there has been a revival of interest in Art Deco design in recent decades, and many original Art Deco items are now considered valuable antiques. Moreover, Art Deco's influence can still be seen in contemporary design, particularly in graphic design and architecture.