Art Deco
July 22, 2008 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Art Deco was the dominant style of the interwar era, coming out of Paris in the 1920's and ruling the roost until World War II broke out. Randy Juster's Decopix - The Art Deco Resource has enough pictures of Art Deco architecture to send one hurtling into The Gernsback Continuum. If that's not enough then there's always the 11000+ images of the Flickr Art Deco Pool. But Art Deco wasn't just about architecture. On the Victoria and Albert Musem's Art Deco site one can view Art Deco objects in great detail, rotating them and listening to audio lectures on each object. But before Art Deco was a design aesthetic it was an art-style. Illustrations for the Art Deco Book in France has more than 170 images from the proponents of that then-new style (some images are not safe for work, especially in the George Barbier section).
posted by Kattullus (23 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
And there goes any hope of having a productive day...
posted by suki at 7:05 AM on July 22, 2008

Decopix was used as a throwaway supporting link in a post by hyperizer about Joe Bussard and his Vintage 78 website. I cleared this post with cortex before I made it.

One of the things I love about art deco and streamline moderne is that they were so ubiquitous that one comes across beautiful examples of it in the randomest places, as highlighted by William Gibson in The Gernsback Continuum. There's a beautiful art deco gas station in a run down part of Providence I used to walk by everyday on my way to work. The Flickr Art Deco Pool had pictures of a bakery building called Spark's Daylight Bakery which is in Stockton-on-Tees in Northeastern England. The Picture Stockton site has more pictures of Spark's bakery. There's tons of these buildings around, in random corners of the globe, decaying ever so slightly each year. I try and keep my eye out for them.
posted by Kattullus at 7:17 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I grew up in Tulsa, which has something like 50 Art Deco structures, including my family's church and the closest thing to an Art Deco cathedral, Boston Avenue Methodist Church.

Preservation just did a cover article on Tulsa's Art Deco heritage.
posted by dw at 7:23 AM on July 22, 2008

My whole neighborhood is late Art Deco style, and the next one over has plenty of Streamline Moderne (never knew it had a name!) apartment buildings. Thank you for the ah-mazing! post.
posted by notsnot at 7:28 AM on July 22, 2008

I'm curious as to why the Decopix site doesn't have any pictures of buildings from Miami. I thought Miami was a large center of Art Deco. They even have an Art Deco building tour in South Beach.
posted by gt2 at 8:00 AM on July 22, 2008

Great post, by the way
posted by gt2 at 8:01 AM on July 22, 2008

Asmara is a great city for Art Deco. TIME calls it "Africa's Miami", but I won't.
posted by harhailla.harhaluuossa at 8:07 AM on July 22, 2008

Kattullus! You're on fire, man! Keep it up with the great posts!
posted by orrnyereg at 8:14 AM on July 22, 2008

I always wished I could have ridden the Kalakala - the world's only art deco ferry (which was once featured on Metafilter).
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:42 AM on July 22, 2008

Kattullus! You're on fire, man! Keep it up with the great posts!

Hear, hear! Thanks for all the great posts, Kattullus.
posted by homunculus at 10:03 AM on July 22, 2008

Why and when did we stop making things pretty? Even drinking fountains were works of art.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:07 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

The chicago architecture foundation has a great art deco walking tour.
posted by garlic at 10:17 AM on July 22, 2008

wonderful post. thanks!
posted by es_de_bah at 10:24 AM on July 22, 2008

Art Deco of Miami and Miami Beach.

It is odd that Decopix seems to have no pictures of So. Fla. art deco.
posted by oddman at 10:25 AM on July 22, 2008

I'm more of a Art Nouveau fan myself.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Good thing I posted a site that has a bunch of Art Nouveau on it a few days ago then.
posted by Kattullus at 10:59 AM on July 22, 2008

Why and when did we stop making things pretty?

I don't know, but I despair of it. Where I live knocked down it's old, moderately ugly hostpial and is putting up a new one that looks like the architect thought that brutalism could be improved by adding more windows.
posted by rodgerd at 12:13 PM on July 22, 2008

Napier in New Zealand is a centre for art deco as well. All thanks to a 1931 earthquake. Presumably if the earthquake had happened 40 years later, it would now be a centre for ugly crap.
posted by rhymer at 1:20 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

The national Gallery of Victoria has a major art deco exhibition running currently, mostly curated by the V and A, with a few local pieces thrown in.
posted by wilful at 4:38 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Victoria Australia is in a bit of a deco spin, a little deco history here, a regional deco festival as well.
posted by Mr.S at 6:14 PM on July 22, 2008

I'm a sucker for houses, the art deco ones in the decopix link are great, and exceedingly rare in the United States. The set design of The Hudsucker Proxy was one of the big reasons I liked that movie, of course, it was supposed to be set during the 1950s.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:42 PM on July 22, 2008

Of course, there's always the building I designed (muhahahaha), what with it's "cold-riveted girders with cores of pure selenium" and its fabrication with "a magnesium-tungsten alloy"
posted by IvoShandor at 10:47 PM on July 22, 2008

I adore Streamline Moderne. Thanks for this.
posted by Monochrome at 2:41 PM on July 24, 2008

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