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Art Deco

Art Deco InspirationBurgh Island is widely regarded as one of the foremost places to see and experience Art Deco in Europe.

Art Deco is an influential visual arts design style that takes its name from the important ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ which took place in Paris in 1925.  It became popular across the globe in the 1920s and ’30s.  As a design style Art Deco represented a rejection of the organic, sensous motifs of pre-War Art Nouveau in favour of clean lines and ‘modern’, often bright, colours.  It was largely made possible by new manufacturing techniques and increased access of the new middle class to luxury goods.  The boom in cinema audiences spread the message across the globe: glamorous living was accessible and had arrived!


  • The ‘Machine Age’ which had grown out of the War – new materials such as bakerlite, chrome, glass manufacturing techniques
  • Cubism – painters such as Braque were experimenting with space, angles and geometry
  • Hollywood – the glamorous world of the silver screen filtered through to design using shiny fabrics, subdued lighting, and mirrors. Cocktail cabinets and smoking paraphernalia became highly fashionable

At the time

  • 1922 Tutankhamun’s tomb is discovered
  • 1925 the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes takes place in Paris
  • 1927 The Jazz Singer, the first “talkie” is released
  • 1931 Empire State Building is completed
  • Film stars – Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
  • Music – Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf

The charleston and tango are the latest dance crazes and the jazz age is born.