Art Deco

Collection Description

“Art Deco,” a term coined in the 1960s, refers to the style inspired by the 1925 Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et modernes in Paris that became popular around the world in the late 1920s and 1930s. Among the hallmarks of Art Deco are stylized forms, metallic surfaces, an embrace of both exotic and machine-age iconography, and the use of strong vertical and diagonal lines. A variant, often termed Streamline Moderne, emphasizing horizontal lines to express forward motion, became especially popular in the United States. The Wolfsonian has many iconic examples of Deco and Streamline design in its collection, from the classically inspired ceramics of Milanese architect Gio Ponti to the “skyscraper” furniture of Paul Frankl to Walter Dorwin Teague’s Kodak Bantam Special camera.

[View of an exhibition gallery in the Standard Oil Company pavilion, California Pacific International Exposition, San Diego, Calif., 1935-1936]
Teapot and hot water kettle, Eiffel Tower
Hinge: floral motif
Occasional table
Ashtray: automobile motif
Knife Rest: stylized horse form
Umbrella stand
Dinner knife, Annecy flatware pattern
Door knob from the men's fitting room of Bullocks Wilshire department store, Los Angeles, California
Chair for Puzzle Desk
Creamer from the Continental tea and coffee service
Salad fork, Deauville flatware pattern
Creamer: Gazelle Motif
Vase: berries and leaves
Het Voltooide Werk [The finished work]