From Art Nouveau to Art Deco - A Brief Look Back

Today Art Nouveau (1890-1914) is justifiably celebrated and loved for its beauty, originality, elaborate ornamentation. We admire the incredible talent the artists had to have to produce such astounding artwork. However, as people were entering the 20th century they felt it had a long enough run and were growing tired of this style. As much as they had initially loved it for the same reasons we admire it today, they started disliking it for its extravagance and association with decadent elitism. It quite frankly became boring, outdated and embarrassing - attributed to grumpy art academics unwilling to relent and constantly talking about the great noodle or vermicelli style (another name for the Art Nouveau movement)

Shortly after the end of WWI, a French art movement called “Art Deco” was born. It wasn’t long before the it spread like wildfire and the entire world was caught up in its bright colours and bold designs of the movement, which continued to enjoy global popularity until the 1930’s-1940’s. It was a long standing trend in design that continues to be popular as “vintage art” to this day.

Art Deco was known for richness with bold colours and simple geometric designs more adopted to modern life. It inspired optimism, and brought forth a new energy at a time when it was needed most. The designs were hopeful and rich of colour and texture. Traditional craft motifs were infused with modern machine imagery, highlighting the age of industry and automation.

Art Deco was not reserved only for graphic designs found in advertisements and art it was also used in architecture and inspired Big Bend, lavish movie theaters and many of the first skyscrapers ever built. It also made its way into people’s homes by way of interior design and furniture design. Even car and motorcycle makers jumped on the band wagon with examples like the 1937 Delahaye 145 Chapron Coupe and the 1936 KJ Hnederson Westfall.



Famous Vintage Art Deco posters make great centerpieces for interior design these days. Art Deco graphic design was widely used in advertising for everything from cigarettes to automobiles and even movie posters.

View our top five Art Deco Posters and Prints:

To carry through the art deco design into the rest of your interior design, focus on bold rich colors and sharp well-defined shapes. You can’t go wrong with large squares with thick boarders. For more Art Deco design tips see Decoist's Art Deco Inspiration With a Contemporary Flap here or for a few inspiring vintage black and white photos of grandiose interiors check out Creating an Art Deco interior from Bradbury & Bradbury.

Add any of our Art Deco posters to your walls for a touch of old fashion class. You can pretend you rub elbows with Gatsby and his pals while you lounge in your Art Deco style living room! Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!

What do you love about Art Deco?

Posted: Mar 06, 2014 | Tagged: Art Deco, Art Nouveau

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