Art deco refers to a striking range of decorative design styles that emerged in the early twentieth century and comes from the influential 1925 Paris International Exhibition of Decorative Arts. Spreading from Paris, it became particularly associated with American industrial design and the decor of Hollywood.
The style became connected with leisure and entertainment in the jazz age, giving cinemas, hotels and department stores across Britain a touch of Hollywood glamour. It was an eclectic modernism that had no clear boundaries and could be applied to anything from a suburban bathroom to a new power station or an ocean liner. By the 1930s, deco was morphing into the smooth curves of streamlining - a style that emphasised the speed of modern cars, trains and airliners. But this luxury decoration had no place in wartime. After burning brightly for less than fifteen years, art deco style disappeared with the outbreak of the Second World War.
This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with art deco in all its variety.
Oliver Green is a museums consultant, historian and lecturer. He is a former Head Curator of the London Transport Museum and is now its Research Fellow and a trustee of the London Transport Museum Friends. He has written and edited several books on transport, art and design history including Frank Pick's London: art, design and the modern city, published by the Victoria & Albert Museum.