21 AUGUST 2021

New, glamorous, stylish, the era of Art Deco . . .

These were some of the words used by Robin Grow the President of the Art Deco & Modernism Society of Australia in yesterday’s Saturday seminar.

Robin explained how Art Deco furniture and jewellery offered a prism by which to view changes in society in the period after World War 1.  New materials, new manufacturing processes and new sensibilities triggered new styles of furniture and jewellery.

Robin pointed out that Paris was the centre of the Art Deco movement, but it was prevalent in other countries in Europe, USA and other parts of the world.  Shanghai was similarly a centre of Art Deco.  Inspiration for the designers came from many sources including Africa and Egypt.  New materials, woods, veneers, lacquers and Bakelite enabled the styles.  As a result, furniture was lighter, more streamlined and more functional to accommodate changing lifestyles: radios, telephones, cocktails and ashtrays. Precious jewellery was designed in geometric patterns by top end jewellers such as Cartier.  Those on more modest budgets could purchase decorative Bakelite jewellery from Woolworths.  Art Deco designs were advertised in magazines and of course Hollywood embodied it all.

Robin Grow, author of books on Art Deco architecture and design provided us with an authoritative and fascinating presentation in yesterday’s seminar.  The seminar was very ably facilitated by Linda Condon.

To watch a recording of the seminar, click HERE.

Pam Caven, U3APP CoM, Working Group

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