In a post a few weeks ago entitled Tableau Books, I mentioned compiling a post on Art Deco titles. Here are a few that I have selected, complete with images from the books themselves.

Art Deco: 1910-1939 (V&A) (ed. Charlotte Benton et al)
Art Deco was inspired by many things, including Mayan and Aztec temples, ancient Egypt, Japanese lacquerwork, and Native American and Navajo culture. It was also influenced by more recent styles such as Dutch and German Expressionism.

This is a large and comprehensive title of over 400 pages, published by the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is both text and image heavy, and features chapters on Egyptomania; European Glass; British Art Deco Ceramics; Art Deco Jewellery; Art Deco and Hollywood Film; and Art Deco in South Africa, to name but a few. I would recommend this to anyone with a love of all things Deco, in particular those who are also interested in social history. You may need to pick this up second hand as I believe it is no longer in print.

Art Deco Architecture by Patricia Bayer
One of two books I own on Deco by Patricia Bayer. The first focuses on architecture, and covers everything from offices, factories, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, shops and even churches. It features Deco architecture from all over the globe, from the streamlined modernism of the Bauhaus (1926) school in Dessau to the highly-embellished opulence of the Radiator Building (1924) in New York City.

Art Deco architecture first appeared in France, closely followed by the United States, where Manhattan became home to the two most famous Deco structures in the world: the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, built in 1930 and 1931 respectively. The author describes Art Deco architecture as ‘an architecture of ornament, geometry, energy, retrospection, optimism, colour, texture, light and at times symbolism.’

Art Deco Interiors by Patricia Bayer
For some people, their interest in Art Deco does not extend beyond architecture. I am not one of these people. Be it furniture, lightning, bathtubs or fireplaces, Deco interior design holds as strong an interest as the exteriors.

Art Deco design was like nothing seen before, which must have been very exciting. It radiates glamour and elegance: opulent design, a unique and vibrant colour palette, decorative motifs, shiny metals. Some of the interiors look futuristic even now, almost 100 years later.

This book is full of photographs old and new, with a decent amount of background information. Featuring interiors from homes, offices, public transport, hotel lobbies and film sets, it provides a detailed history of the Art Deco interior style. It offers both a look in to the past and inspiration for your own home.

Asmara: The Frozen City by Stefan Boness
I suppose when we think of cities associated with Art Deco, London, New York and Miami come to mind, closely followed by Chicago and Detroit. Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, isn’t exactly the first.

Asmara: The Frozen City is a small hardback book featuring photographs of exterior and interior architecture. Many of the buildings in the city are distinctively Deco but with an Italian flair. They were built at huge expense between 1934 and 1940 by Italian architects, led by Mussolini. The city has remained untouched since then, hence the book’s title.

Not all of the area is Deco, but it is certainly Modernist with Futurist influences (this was after all an Italian operation). Whilst not yet a UNESCO site, Asmara has been under a preservation order since 2001.

Miami Beach Deco by Steven Brooke
Another small hardback book featuring photographs of the iconic ice-white stuccoed buildings of Miami Beach, adorned with pastel embellishments. Notable architects were Henry Hohauser, L. Murray Dixon, Anton Skislewicz and Albert Anis.

The Deco buildings in Miami had fallen in to disrepair by the 1970s and it took a pioneering lady named Barbara Capitman to save them. Her campaign led to the beginning of the Miami Beach Architectural Historical District, which seeks to preserve the area and provide information to the public. Miami is also home to the oldest Art Deco Society in the world, founded in 1976.

Advertisements