Art Deco is a uniquely urban style of architecture that celebrated modernity. In some respects it was modeled on the sleek, streamlined modern architecture found in Europe, such as the Bauhaus or the International style; but rather than these structural forms devoid of any applied ornamentation, Art Deco buildings reveal applied, machine-like patterns such as repetitive stamp-like images of machine gears, wheels, or automobile imagery, or zigzag patterns of more exotic images. For example, the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 fueled an interest in things Egyptian, and so Egyptian-styled patterns found their way onto Art Deco buildings. The high point of Art Deco occurred between the two world wars, from the 1920s through the 1930s, but its major source of inspiration came after the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris; it then spread across to the United States and remained popular through the 1950s.
   In the United States, Art Deco made its first appearance in New York City and became the preferred style during this era that found a confluence of prosperity, an interest in travel, and the arts. Thus, the rhythm of jazz music, the growth of the American automobile industry, and the drive to create the tallest building in the country are all part of the cultural heritage of Art Deco. Raymond Hood was one of the earlier architects to work in the Art Deco style in the United States. His Chicago Tribune Tower, built in 1924 with John Mead Howells, exhibits a Gothic Revival style that was typical of the earliest skyscrapers, but then Hood sought to modernize and streamline this style with a new machine aesthetic. His Radio City Music Hall auditorium at Rockefeller Center in New York City (1930s) and the New York Daily News Building (1929) reflect this new style.
   When Walter Chrysler commissioned William Van Alen to construct the Chrysler Building in New York City in 1930, it was meant to be the tallest building in the world. Constructed with a stainless steel frame, the building features decorative elements in the Art Deco style, such as eagles, car imagery, zigzags, a steppedcone top, and a spire to increase the height of the building. At the same time, John Jacob Raskob of General Motors was planning the Empire State Building, begun in New York City by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon in 1931 and finished just over one year later. This skyscraper measured 1,250 feet tall and was built with a steel skeleton and bricks. In the top third of the building, tiered sections allude to a stepped-pyramid format, like a Mesopotamian ziggurat. A spire was then added, making the Empire State Building the tallest building in New York, until it was surpassed by the World Trade Center in 1972. After the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City.
   Art Deco came to symbolize all of the modern-age technical ingenuity that allowed for the great advances in the steel industry, the automobile industry, and the new "machine age" that brought great prosperity and optimism to the United States. This style remained popular through the next several decades. It spread across the country and can be found in Midwestern railroad stations, business office headquarters, and local civic buildings.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Art déco — Art déco …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Art-déco — Flèche du Chrysler Building, New York. De 1920 à 1939, et en réaction à l Art nouveau d avant la Première Guerre mondiale, l Art déco fut un mouvement artistique extrêmement influent surtout dans l architecture et le design …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Art Déco — Flèche du Chrysler Building, New York. De 1920 à 1939, et en réaction à l Art nouveau d avant la Première Guerre mondiale, l Art déco fut un mouvement artistique extrêmement influent surtout dans l architecture et le design …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Art decó — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Coronamiento art decó del Edificio Chrysler en Nueva York, construido 1928–1930 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Art déco — Art dé|co 〈[a:r de:ko] f.; ; unz.〉 dem Jugendstil folgende Stilrichtung in der Kunst u. bes. im Kunstgewerbe von etwa 1920 bis 1940 [verkürzt <frz. art décorative „dekorative Kunst“] * * * Art dé|co [arde ko: ], der u. das; [frz. art… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Art decó — art déco (fr.; pronunc. [árt decó]) m. Estilo artístico aplicado a las artes decorativas, con influencias del modernismo, que surge en Europa en los años veinte. * * * El art decó es un movimiento artístico centrado sobre todo en el campo de las… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • art déco — art dé·co loc.s.f.inv. ES fr. {{wmetafile0}} TS arte movimento artistico nato intorno al 1920 che prediligeva le simmetrie e le forme stilizzate e geometriche; anche agg.inv.: una vetrata art déco Sinonimi: déco. {{line}} {{/line}} ETIMO: in. XX… …   Dizionario italiano

  • Art Deco — UK / US or Art Deco UK [ˌɑː(r)t ˈdekəʊ] / US [ˌɑrt ˈdekʊ] noun [uncountable] art a style of art, decoration, and architecture with simple strong lines that was especially popular in the 1920s and 1930s in Europe and the US …   English dictionary

  • Art Deco — Art Dec|o [ˌa:t ˈdekəu US ˌa:rt ˈdekou] n [U] [Date: 1900 2000; : French; Origin: Art Déco, from Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs, a show of decorative arts held in Paris in 1925] a style of art and decoration that uses simple shapes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • art deco — decorative and architectural style of the period 1925 1940, attested from 1966, from Fr. art décoratif, lit. decorative art (see DECORATIVE (Cf. decorative)); from L Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in… …   Etymology dictionary

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