Art Deco (English pronunciation: /ˈɑːt ˈdɛkoʊ/, also Deco) is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film. The term “art deco” was first used widely in 1966, after an exhibition in Paris, ‘Les Années 25’ sub-titled Art Deco, celebrating the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes that was the culmination of style moderne in Paris. At its best, Art Deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity.
Art Deco’s linear symmetry was a distinct departure from the pastels and flowing asymmetrical organic curves of its predecessor style Art Nouveau; it embraced influences from many different styles of the early 20th century, including Neoclassical, Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism and Futurism and drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian and Aztec forms. Although many design movements have political or philosophical beginnings or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative.
Art Deco experienced a decline in popularity during the late 1930s and early 1940s, but had a resurgence during the 1960s with the first book on the subject by Bevis Hillier in 1968 and later an exhibition organised by him in Minneapolis in 1971. It continued with the popularization of graphic design during the 1980s. Art Deco had a profound influence on many later artistic styles, such as Memphis and Pop art.
Architectural examples survive in many different locations worldwide, in countries as diverse as China (Shanghai), the UK, Latvia, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Poland, Austria, Germany, Russia, Romania, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Colombia and the United States. There are many remarkable examples of Art Deco among the larger apartment blocks in London, such as Dolphin Square, Hightrees House and Du Cane Court. In New York, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center are among the largest and best-known examples of the style. Riga, Latvia has the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in Europe