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Movement in design, interior decoration, and architecture in the 1920s and '30s in Europe and the U.S. The name derives from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. Its products included both individually crafted luxury items and mass-produced wares, but, in either case, the intention was to create a sleek and antitraditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication. Influenced by Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Cubist, Native American, and Egyptian sources, the distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a streamlined look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied, often expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances (plastics, especially bakelite; vita-glass; and ferroconcrete) in addition to natural ones (jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal). Typical motifs included stylized animals, foliage, nude female figures, and sun rays. New York City's Rockefeller Center (especially its interiors supervised by Donald Deskey), the Chrysler Building by William Van Alen, and the Empire State Building by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon are the most monumental embodiments of Art Deco.
Variants of ART DECO
Art Deco or Style Moderne
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Art Deco, visit Britannica.com.
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