Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Thursday, November 11, 2010 4:07 PM EDT
This past Monday I played the know-it-all. I posted three pieces of iconic design, and asked you to guess which of the three was an Art Deco. Well, you're getting better and better at it because 56% of you guessed correctly!!
Of the the following three examples....
A) B) C)
The answer is... B)! A Donald Deskey chrome-plated metal desk lamp, ca. 1927
What makes this Art Deco and the others not? Well, first off, the time period is 1920s and '30s, up to just after WWII. A) is a Dorothy Thorpe design from the '70s (Dorothy Thorpe is best known for her glass tableware) and C) is a late '50s example of American Pop Art.
A few pointers:
- One of the most fundamental principles of Art Deco design is geometric shapes. It is a direct stylistic response to the previous movement called Art Nouveau, the defining characteristic of which is fluid, organic shapes.
- While all three examples above could be considered 'modern', only B) has a touch of the 'Machine Age' modern to it, an aspect of Art Deco that took inspiration from advancements in aviation, electronics, large-scale building construction and so on. The aggressive angles and polished metal demonstrates this aspect, but its smallish scale and dainty proportions keeps it from being crude, and hence still decorative -- decorative being a main preoccupation of Art Deco design.
- Lastly, repetition along with geometric shapes is another telltale of the Art Deco style.
Four smarty pants guessed correctly, and emailed me the answer. Those four people will get some swag. That'll teach the rest of you to start emailing me. Because I like getting your emails.