The collecting and maintaining of art is a wonderful and exciting way to experience the past as well as to add ambiance and beauty to a family room, office complex or community park.
Beautiful paintings and sculptures not only offer great aesthetic values but also
significantly enhance any wall, yard or park. Considering the mediums, however, paintings and sculptures are restricted more to viewing than to be handled and examined.
What if it was possible to create art that was not only striking and stylish but functional as well? This was the idea of the French designers who set out to research the possibilities of working in nontraditional mediums such as wood, marble and steel.
Although they were in essence looking to create a new movement they continued to adhere to the principles of many of the old schools as well as to those of modern movements, to include but not limited to; Cubism, Futurism and Abstract. The signature of the Deco artists were the various geometrical shapes and highly intense colors. As their individual craftsmanship were refined and their products displayed, it was not long before Art Deco would be influencing works of architecture, furniture, clothing and jewelry.
Following the First World War the American people desired a more "modern" and functional style to their everyday items such as furniture, jewelry and decorative objects.
Considered to be sophisticated and elegant by the middle class families of the United States, Art Deco became very popular and could be found in everything from jewelry to vases.
The Art Deco movement was perhaps the first time in the history of American art that modern technology could be seen as directly influencing an art movement. Not only were the principles of aerodynamics applied to the designing and production of streamlined objects, one could also see where the machine had become an integral part of the production process.
Through the use of machinery it had become possible to quickly mass produce the elegant and sophisticated objects and have them readily available for purchase by the growing middle class population.
From its conception in 1925 until its demise following the Great Depression of 1929 and the financially devastating cost of World War II, Art Deco was a prominent, prosperous movement. Its influence into the "modernization" of everyday household and personal items brought about a change in the art world which even today will periodically make a cameo appearance.
Although not as popular or dominating as it had once been, it is difficult to conceive that Art Deco; with its unique style, diversity of geometrical design and vivid colors, will ever totally disappear from the American art scene.
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