Deco Devotion

Art Deco History & Information

The term Art Deco, coined in the 1960s when interest in the style revived, was derived from L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.

This exhibition came midway in Art Deco's development and was a definitive display of the style. At this time Art Deco was also known as "Art Moderne" or "Modernistic"; later it was called "Jazz Pattern," or "skyscraper Modern". Many international exhibitions helped promote Art Deco, but none was more important than the Paris Exhibition of 1925. This history changing gathering was dedicated to the display of modern decorative arts. The exhibition brought together thousands of designs from all over Europe and beyond. With over 15 million visitors, it marked the high point of the first phase of Art Deco. The exhibition was shaped by France's ambitions in the years immediately after the First World War. Its aim was to establish the pre-eminence of French taste and luxury goods. French displays dominated the exhibition and Paris itself was put on show as the most fashionable of cities.

The pavilions of major manufacturers, department stores and designers, together with avenues of boutiques, enticed visitors to the fairground by day. By night, its monumental gates, bridges and fountains, as well as major landmarks in the surrounding city, were a blaze of light. The Eiffel Tower bore the Citroën logo. A triumph of nineteenth century engineering, the tower was transformed into a giant advertisement for twentieth century consumerism. The exhibition regulations stressed the need for 'modern' inspiration.

There were many novel designs, but designers and manufacturers were reluctant to abandon tradition altogether. Nevertheless, whether the exhibits were 'modernized traditional' or 'modernistic' in character, they helped establish the themes and formal repertoire of Art Deco. The exhibition had an immediate and worldwide impact.

Stats from the exhibition taken from The World's Fair Magazine,
Vol. 8, Number 3 ©1988, World's Fair Inc.

The opening date of the exhibition:  

25th April 1925

The closing date of the exhibition:  

25th October 1925

Exhibition Space taken up:  

72 acres

The official attendance:  


Total number of exhibitors:  


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V&A Museum
Musée Les Arts Décoratifs

You can find more information on specific Art Deco memorabilia by clicking the links below:

Artists Books Websites

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