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Art Deco

  Art Deco (derived from the phrase ‘art as decoration’) was a design style universally popular from late 1920s onwards. It was characterized by geometric forms, distinctive colour combinations, modern materials like stainless steel and in furniture smooth wraparound surfaces in luxurious veneers. Art Deco design was an amalgam of the changes affecting fine art and design in the interwar years, for example the bold colours of Fauve and Cubist painting, and the architecture of modernism. Populist application of the new Modernism influenced design across the board from cinemas to radios and vacuum cleaners. It also led to several important critics and designers criticizing Art Deco as a mere style without the intellectual rigour of hard-line Modern Movement thinking. In this context the term Moderne was used to suggest the Art Deco style as a much less serious version of Modernism. Nonetheless by the end of the 1930s, particularly in the US, Art Deco had become universally popular both for expensive custom-made objects and for cheap mass-produced ceramics and tableware. CMcD  



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