Art Deco Decorative Objects

Retro Radio

Art deco received its name from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris which included art deco decorative objects such as ceramics, glass, sculpture and jewelry. This sleek and elegant design, influenced by machine-made objects, became widespread in the 1930s.

V & A's Art Deco

  • Art Deco 1910-1939: A few years ago, London's Victoria and Albert Museum held a comprehensive art deco exhibit. There is an informative Virtual Tour of the exhibit online as well as an interesting Art Deco Objects in Detail section. In addition, more images can be called up at the Art Deco Object Database where it is easy to search for objects by type, nationality, year and artist.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum's National Art Library: Although the V & A's National Art Library Art Deco Study Guide mainly tells where to find art deco in its vast collection of books, catalogues and periodicals, this page also explains more about the style, and names reference books worth tracking down.

It's a good idea to become acquainted with the important art deco craftsmen the library mentions before your next trip to auction houses or antique stores.

René Lalique - glass and jewelry

Jean Puiforcat - silverware

Maurice Marinot- glass

Demetre Chiparus - sculpture

Art Deco Decorative Object Exhibits

Luxury ocean liners are a source of art deco decorative art. Fascinatingly, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has pieces from the SS Normandie, launched in 1932, as part of its permanent collection, while art deco from the 1925 SS Ile-de-France resides in a museum outside of Paris. Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), the famous designer whose pavilion at the 1925 Paris exposition was called Hôtel d'un Collectionneur, created art deco for both French ships. In 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented two art deco exhibits that can still be seen online. One is about Ruhlmann while the second covers his contemporaries.

  • Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco: Although predominately a furniture designer, Ruhlmann created much more such as a crystal and silvered metal chandelier and a porcelain vase lamp for the Ile-de-France ocean liner.
  • Art Deco Paris: If you're interested in collecting art deco objects, it is worthwhile to study artists from this exhibit.

Georges Fouquet - jewelry

Jean Dunand - lacquer

Edgar Brandt - metalwork

News, Dealers and Societies

  • Art Deco News: This colorful site tells about art deco events and also has links to societies, dealers and shows. There is a newsletter, an Ask the Dealer department to answer emailed questions about art deco decorative objects, and an Art Deco Destinations section that tells about Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne, Australia where the 9th World Congress on Art Deco was held.
  • Lattimore's Global Art Deco Directory: Laurence Lattimore, an art deco dealer, started the directory in 1995. Although emphasizing British dealers, other countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the United States are represented which shows how widespread art deco has become.

Two of the many art deco societies in the United States are:

  • Art Deco Society of California: They held An Evening With Cartier at the Hotel Monaco, San Francisco. Jewelry from Cartier Inc. was presented along with a slide show of the company's history.
Art Deco Decorative Objects