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26 March 2020The Art Deco Style

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The Art Deco Style A Study Day with Anthea Streeter Thursday 26 March 2020

The Art Deco style is considered by many people to be one of the most lively chapters in the history of art. Covering a 30-year period up to 1939, it can broadly be divided into three stylistic periods: ‘de luxe’, modernistic, and streamlining.

Programme: 10.00am Registration and Coffee

10.30 – 11.30am - Session I

We begin with a brief reminder of the difference between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. We then look at the development of Art Deco ‘de luxe’, influenced by designs from Austria and Germany, and the arrival of the Ballets Russes in Paris before the First World War. The new fashions of Paul Poiret as well as the fine furniture, metalwork and glassware of leading French designers such as Ruhlmann, Brandt and Lalique all belong to the ‘de luxe’ period. The first session ends with the important Exhibition of Decorative Arts held in Paris in 1925, where the work of these designers was shown to great acclaim.

11.50 to 12.50pm - Session II 

The second session is about Modernistic Art Deco, sometimes termed Zig-Zag Moderne, of the late 1920s.   Cubism, The Bauhaus, and the excitement of the machine age, influenced design towards geometrical imagery, from skyscrapers to everyday household objects.  

12.50: Lunch 

2 to 3pm - Session III 

In the afternoon session, we look at Streamlining.    During the Depression years, American industrial designers harnessed the concept of speed to develop repackaged, streamlined products – from refrigerators to vacuum cleaners – to make the public ‘buy’. With the advent of the ‘talkies’ in the 1930s, the movies played a key role in disseminating an image of art deco glamour throughout the world.  

Anthea Streeter studied the Fine and Decorative Arts in London and continued her studies at Harvard University. It was while at Harvard, where there was great enthusiasm for American design, that she became interested herself in 20th century architecture. Since returning from America she has taught on courses in Oxford and London, lectured on the Country House course in Sussex, and for several private groups around the country. Special interest in the architecture and design of 20th century.