Monday, December 10, 2012

What is Art Deco?

I am a very big fan of the Art Deco movement. The next several posts will address a little of my inspiration for the Art Deco house I will be building as my entry in the Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse contest.

Art Deco swept the world in the 1920s and 30s. It was rebellious. It echoed, and was a part of, the new technical revolution. It also was partly decadent, and at times difficult to differentiate from Art Nouveau. There is no one definition of Art Deco.

Art Deco could be this:

(Scene from the 1939 film, "The Women")

Or this:

Or this:

Or it could be the work of the artist, Tamara De Lempicka. Lempicka has been deemed one of the most iconic Art Deco artists. Here are some photos of her:

Oh yes, smoking was very fashionable during the Art Deco period. So was drinking.

(Cartoon found at

Lempicka didn't care if you liked her personally (and most didn't, including her daughter), but she cared about her work.

A few of Lempicka's paintings:

The above painting is autobiographical, and the Bugatti automobile was hers.

Her sister, Andrienne Gorska, designed Lempicka's 1930s Parisian apartment:

Next post, Florine Stettheimer

(Florine Stettheimer, "The Cathedrals of Broadway")

Wishing you only good things, Neen


  1. Interesting post, I love Art Deco.

    It could be that I'm a designer, but I think that there is a clear distinction from Art Nouveau.

    Art Nouveau was a little more European, with some Asian influences mixed in. While, thanks in part to movies, Art Deco has a little more American in it. And then there's also the industrialization, cars/trains, that people seemed to be pretty excited about at the time.

    The colors are pretty much the same though. And smoking was pretty popular. XD

    I look forward to seeing this Art Deco house you're working on!

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! I tend to agree with you. I personally favor the cleaner-lined, more industrial Art Deco, and have a problem with very ornate furniture being called Art Deco. Some of that ornate decoration, I believe, is attributable to the influence of the Egyptian craze that swept the world in the 20s, thanks to Howard Carter and the tomb of King Tut. Art Deco, however, is a little like mercury. Just when you think you understand it, it slips away.

  3. I LOVE Art Deco! Eventually I plan on making an Art Deco-inspired dollhouse, maybe Great Gatsyby-ish, but that's on the far horizon. Anyway, can't wait to see what you do with the theme.