Art Deco History Timeline

June 19, 2013
Design, 1925–50 | Essay


Art Deco styling was most common in architecture, interior design, poster art, furniture, jewellery, textiles, fashion and industrial design, although it was also applied to the visual arts such as painting, and graphics. In architecture, the Art Deco look signalled something of a return to the symmetry and simplicity of Neoclassicism, but without its classical regularity. The fact that Art Deco architectural designs were so enthusiastically adopted by architects in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Spain, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, India and Brazil, says much for the style's novel monumentality.

Examples of Art Deco Architecture

Many cities with building projects completed during the period 1927-1935 used Art Deco design plans, of which the following is a short selection. For more information, see: American Architecture (1600-present), and for a list of top designers, see: American Architects (1700-2000).

Art Deco in America

In New York, Art Deco is exemplified in its Skyscraper Architecture, including designs for buildings like:

- Chanin Building (1927-9) by Sloan & Robertson.
- The Chrysler Building (1928-30) by William van Alen.
- The Empire State Building (1929-31) by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.
- McGraw-Hill Building (1929-30) by Raymond Hood.
- News Building (1929-30) by Raymond Hood with John Mead Howells.
- Rockefeller Center (1932-9) by Reinhard, Hofmeister, Harrison & Macmurray.

Other famous Art Deco buildings in New York include the Radio City Music Hall, and the Midland Grand Hotel.

In Texas, Art Deco is exemplified in Houston by such buildings as the Houston City Hall, the JP Morgan Chase Building and the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, while in Beaumont, the Jefferson County Courthouse (completed 1931), is one of the few Art Deco buildings still standing.

In Missouri, the best example of the Great Depression and its effect on Art Deco construction is the Kansas City Power and Light Building (completed 1931). Other examples in Kansas City include the Municipal Auditorium, the Jackson County Courthouse, and City Hall.

In Ohio, the Cincinnati Union Terminal, an Art Deco style passenger railroad station (completed 1933) is now the Cincinnati Museum Center, which attracts more than one million visitors per year.

In Florida, the city of Miami is home to countless examples of Art Deco style buildings.

Art Deco in Cuba
Many of the finest surviving examples of Art Deco architecture can be seen in Havana, Cuba. Perhaps the best is the Bacardi Building.

Art Deco in South America
In Brazil, Art Deco designs are prevalent in Goiania and cities like Cipo (Bahia), Irai (Rio Grande do Sul) and Rio de Janeiro, while Montevideo, Uruguay, is home to the iconic Palacio Salvo (completed 1929), formerly South America's tallest building.

Art Deco in Britain
UK Examples include the famous East Stand facade at Highbury, the former Arsenal Stadium. The London Underground also has numerous examples of Art Deco architecture, as do London Hotels such as the Strand Palace Hotel.

Art Deco in India
The city of Mumbai in India has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami. One of the finest is the New India Assurance Building (completed 1936).

Art Deco in China
The historical Chinese port of Shanghai is home to over fifty Art Deco buildings, the majority designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec.

Art Deco in Indonesia
This country has one of the largest remaining collections of 1920s Art Deco buildings in the world. They include the Savoy Homann Hotel (completed 1939), by architects Thomas Karsten, Henri Maclaine-Pont, J Gerber and C.P.W. Schoemaker; the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij building (now Museum Bank Mandiri, completed 1929), by architects J de Bryun, AP Smiths, and C Van de Linde, and the Jakarta Kota Station (completed 1929) by architects Frans Johan Louwrens and Ghijsels.

Art Deco in Australia
A relatively large number of buildings throughout Australia were constructed in the art deco style. In Melbourne for instance, art deco buildings include the Century Building, Yule House, Mitchell House, Manchester Unity building, and Myer Emporium Mural Hall. In Sydney, there is the ANZAC War Memorial, the Mutual Life and Citizen's Building, the Dental Hospital of Sydney, Archibald Fountain, and Minerva Theatre.

Art Deco Visual Arts - Famous Artists

Although the term Art Deco is rarely applied to painting or sculpture, the style is visible in the streamlined forms of certain 20th century painters from the inter-war period. Such artists include, the painter (born Tamara Gorska) (1898-1980) - see her oil painting The Musician (1929), and her Self-Portrait in a Green Bugatti (1925); and the sculptor Paul Manship (1885-1966) - see his gilded bronze sculpture Prometheus (1933, Rockefeller Center Plaza). The Ukrainian-born French poster artist Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron (1901-68), known as Cassandre, was the top Art Deco graphic artist, who won the Grand Prix for poster design at the 1925 Paris Expo. For other designers, see: History of Poster Art.

Other famous Art Deco painters included: Rene Buthaud (1886-1986), Raphael Delorme (1885-1962), Jean Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962), and Jean Dupas (1882-1964). Noted former Cubists like (1885-1962), (1885-1941) and (1881-1955) painted Art Deco works for the 1925 exhibition, while Sonia Delaunay (1885-1980) created Art Deco furnishings and textile designs. The Fauvist painter, later textile designer (1877-1953) created over a dozen wall-hangings for the show. See also: Book Illustration.

Art Deco design might be a riotous fusion of Cubist rectilinear geometrics, exotic Sergei Diaghilev costumes, American Jazz culture and metallic paint colours. Famous Art Deco fashion designers included Paul Poiret (1879-1944), founder of the Ecole d'Art Decoratif Martine and Atelier Martine, while famous Art Deco fashion illustrators included George Barbier (1882-1932), Umberto Brunelleschi (1879-1949), Erte (1892-1990) and Charles Martin (1884-1934). Important Art Deco furniture designers of the era included Andre Mare (1887-1932), Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann (1879-1933), and Eileen Gray (1879-1976), while Art Deco artists engaged in other art forms like interior design, textile design, jewellery, metalware, lighting, glass art and ceramics included Andre Groult (1884-1967), Jean Dunand (1877-1942), Paul Follet (1877-1941) and Pierre Chareau (1883-1950).


Similar to Art Nouveau, and as a style which sought to inspire all forms of arts and crafts, Art Deco has influenced numerous other design styles and movements since its initial decline in the early 1940s. It has had a marked influence on contemporary art and design.

The 50 Greatest Paintings in the History of Art : 10 - 1
The 50 Greatest Paintings in the History of Art : 10 - 1
The History of Deco
The History of Deco
Share this Post
latest post
follow us