- Welcome to The Wise Collector
- Knowledge Changes Everything!
- Buyer Beware!
- Buyer Beware!: Part II
- Caring for Your Antiques
- Coin Collecting
- McCoy Pottery
- Chinese Export Porcelain
- Frankoma Pottery
- The Arts and Crafts Movement
- The Art Deco Period
- Susie Cooper Pottery
- Limoges China
- 18th C American Furniture Styles
- The Bauhaus School: Weimar 1919
- The Bauhaus School: Design & Architecture
- The End of a Century: Art Nouveau Style
- Biedermeier: The Comfortable Style
- The Souvenir Age
- A History of Ceramic Tiles
- Flow Blue China
- Collect Vintage Christmas Decorations
- An American Thanksgiving Through theYears
- How to Find an Antiques Appraiser
- Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card
- Thomas Cook and the Grand Tours
- Harry Rinker's 25th Anniversary
- Mid-Century Modern
- Will Chintz China become Popular Again?
- Ireland's Waterford Crystal
- Vintage Wicker and Rattan
- Fishing Gear Collecting
- Bennington Pottery
- Identifying Pottery and Ceramic Marks
- The Art of Needlework in the Arts & Crafts Era
- The Delicious World of Vintage Cookbooks
- BLOG: RANDOM THOUGHTS
- E-BOOKS BY BARBARA BELL
- First Reader Consulting
The Art Deco Period
When a collector really loves the art and artifacts of the twentieth century, and focuses on a certain category of collectible or a time period within which to concentrate, quite often it is the Art Deco period which excites him the most. For those of you who agree, let me assure you that you are not alone! There is wonderful furniture, great art, magnificent architecture, and stellar fashions and jewelry from that period.
Derived from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes which was held in Paris, Art Deco celebrated living in the modern world. Today, "Art Deco" is used to refer to a mix of styles from the 1920s and 1930s. The Art Deco style infused the everyday world with an elegant style of cool sophistication.
As an antidote to the global effects of the First World War, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Art Deco represented a retreat from the handcrafted artisan style of the Arts & Crafts period and the self-indulgence of the Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods. Those lifestyles seemed out of place after the devastation of WW I. Art Deco as a style celebrated in many forms the speed of modern transportation, the machinery of modern factories, and the faceless, soulless socialism of post-war Europe.
Art Deco design is characterized by geometry and simplicity, as well as vibrant colors and shapes that venerate the rise of commerce and technology. Mass produced, streamlined items were marketed to the rising middle class and were a marked contrast to the artisan-created style of an earlier generation exemplified by William Morris.
It was also a period of social change, when women who had come of age during the First World War became "flappers" who smoked cigarettes, bobbed their hair, and voted. Although women had always been employed in the factories of the late 19th century and as the uncredited workers in pottery, textile and other craft manufacturing, few were recognized for their work by name.
Women became more visible during the Twenties and Thirties as artists and designers. To be sure, their presence was not exalted in the same breath as a Picasso. Nonetheless, such designers as Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper remain highly collectible.
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