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Art Deco Style Hardcover – 1 Nov 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd (1 Nov. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071482884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714828848
  • Product Dimensions: 27.3 x 4.4 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Hillier's and Escritt's superb book takes the reader on an intoxicating journey through the genre. Beautifully illustrated, wonderfully written.' (Heritage Today)

'This richly illustrated book is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging study of the movement to date - a must for all deco-philes.' (Homes & Gardens)

'This splendid book, which combines wit with erudition, is destined to become the bible for Art Deco enthusiasts.' (Birmingham Post)

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bevis Hillier is the author of more than 20 books, including Art Deco: A Design Handbook, The Style of the Century and The World of Art Deco.

Stephen Escritt is a specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century decorative arts, especially in the fields of interior design and furniture. A regular contributor to arts journals, he is author of Art Nouveau in Phaidon's Arts & Ideas series.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A must-have, wonderful book for any Art Deco fan.

through this book, Hillier's insights into this wonderfully stylised world are both joyful and painful - so much Deco is still out there to view and enjoy, yet so much now only exists in photo form.

Buy this book, enjoy it, keep it on your Art Deco coffee table, and make sure you're online whenever you open this great tome, so that you may view what still exists, once existed, or, perhaps, might exist again, should a present-day billionaire get the Deco bug, and recreate some of the stylishly desirable Deco items featured within this beautiful book.

Happy reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9fdeb5a0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05c9438) out of 5 stars Incredible!! 31 Jan. 1999
By Templar - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have about 60 books on Art Deco which I can now dispose of. This Book is the finest ever written on Deco. A real treasure.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa030f1d4) out of 5 stars New and Improved Art Deco Resource Volume 26 May 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bevis Hillier first enlightened the world about the Art Deco movement in his definitive volume of 1968: now he adds to the strength of that fine work by joining with co-author Stephen Escritt to create probably the most complete discussion of the fascinating and important movement that influenced all of the arts in the 1920s and 1930s.

Art Deco is a term applied to the reactionary period of reducing all decor to essentials in the wake of the devastation of World War I. The concept was to simplify all forms of design to geometric principals, doing away with unnecessary filigree and flotsam and maintaining a dignity of presentation. The movement influenced architecture in the rebuilding of Europe (moving into the USA rapidly as a pacesetter), book design, posters, stage decor, ballet, and even music. The manner in which each of these transformations played out (and there are many more than those listed) is the subject for this fine volume.

While the book may feel a bit wordy for the casual reader (see other picture book surveys of the movement without the scholarly approach), there are ample full color illustrations to explain the theses and the aspects of Art Deco influence. Both authors write with style and clarity, making this hefty volume well worth the investment of time to read. Recommended. Grady Harp, May 06
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03a3948) out of 5 stars The Last Word in Style 23 July 2007
By Shellie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Art Deco was an applied arts movement of the early 20th Century; it was the natural successor to Art Nouveau and the predominant style of the so called Jazz Age, and thus beautifully captured the liberated spirit of that bygone time. Encompassing all of the decorative arts and industrial design to fashion, film and architecture Art Deco was an exuberant and exotic "total style" that permeated almost every sphere of 1920s and 1930s culture. Art Deco was the last great cohesive decorative arts style to evolve in Europe, but despite this apparent coherence it is paradoxically eclectic, and multifaceted. Inspired by by such diverse sources as The Ballet Russes, Cubism, Chinese, Egyptian, MesoAmerican and African art to marvels of modern technology such as speeding cars, trains, planes or cruise ships; it could be very serious, yet playful at the same time. Early Art Deco was geometric and rectilinear with a simplified design vocabulary of zig zags to stylized animal and plant motifs, such as leaping deer or greyhounds to highly stylized flowers, fronds and fountains. Later in the styles evolution Art Deco became much more simplified, using basic streamlined and abstract motifs that took the place of overt ornamentation.

Stylish posters were still a major form of communication in the interwar era; being used to advertise products from alcohol to automobiles, from the latest blockbuster movie to exotic holidays aboard the Normandie or the Orient Express. One of this mediums greatest exponents at that time was A.M. Cassandra; who used posters to great and powerful effect with colourful, simple and bold graphics. Beginning in France around 1910 Art Deco's development was halted by World War I, but after the war ended spread throughout the industrialized world like wildfire. In France the style was exclusive, lavish and luxurious with a strong emphasis on highly skilled fine craftsmanship. Artists such as René Lalique, Jean Puiforcat, Demeter Chiparus, Edgar Brandt and Emile Ruhlmann all worked in costly materials like glass, silver, bronze and ivory, wrought iron, exotic woods and even shargreen or lacquer. French Art Deco reached its high peak of influence around the mid Twenties with the staging of the 1925 Paris Exposition Des Arts Decoratifs, a seminal event in its history. Sometime after the 1925 exposition the style slowly began to wane in popularity and influence with many artists, artisans and designers moving on to modernism proper. But the final death knell for this era of hedonistic opulence was sounded with the 1929 stock market crash, however, Art Deco as a style was not yet exhausted. During "the great depression" Art Deco underwent a radical aesthetic transformation with an emphasis more and more on the so called streamlining of objects; with subtle decorative touches such as "speed lines" the look was futuristic, functional and sleek. As a result of deepening economic austerity artists in the Thirties could no longer afford to use expensive traditional materials; but new ones invariably took their place, especially in architecture and industrial design. There was a bewildering variety of new products such as ivorine, chrome, bakelite, terrazzo, vitriolite and moulded glass that were used with great panache and verve in cheap objects and architecture alike. Art Deco in the 1930s is quite distinct from the extravagant style of the previous decade and has since come to be termed as Streamlined Moderne by many art historians and aficionados, or even better, as Art Moderne.

The reception to Art Deco in England was lukewarm at best and they viewed this style with great suspicion, but still there are some wonderful examples of Art Deco from this conservative nation. Artists and designers such as Clarice Cliff and Keith Murry worked in colourful ceramics and porcelain, Eric Gill was a sculptor who designed architectural ornamentation and Oliver Hill was a prolific architect. In Great Britain's colonies Art Deco arrived in the latter 1920s and there are some moderately scaled yet fabulous examples of Deco architecture in India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United States Art Deco was incredibly vibrant with a brash "new world" approach; and there were many incredibly talented decorative artists, industrial designers and architects. The list would include the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Donald Desky, Joseph Urban, Paul Frankl and Walter Dorwin Teauge to Belle Kogan, Henry Dreyfuss, Kem Weber and Peter Muller Munk amongst others... many of them émigrés fleeing Europe for the relative freedoms that America offered. There are some truly imposing examples of Art Deco skyscraper architecture in America, with most of them being concentrated in New York; including such famous examples as the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the McGraw Hill Building and the Rockefeller Centre. With their stepped forms inspired by ancient ziggurats, and more pragmatically, strict zoning laws that required a certain amount of natural sunlight to reach the streets; they have an elegance, sophistication and dramatic beauty that most modern skyscrapers are sorely lacking in. Art Deco was of course popular as a style across the American continent with fine examples of buildings in Chicago and other big cities, such as Los Angeles exclusive Bullocks Wilshire and sumptuous Wiltern Cinema. Art Deco was also popular in Latin America with many handsome examples of Deco buildings and religious statues, such as the monumental statue of Christ in Rio De Janeiro. With the onset of World War II Art Deco fell out of favour with critics and the general public alike; for society at large was being mobilized for a protracted and bloody conflict and Art Deco increasingly came to be seen as a shallow, excessive and frivolous waste of limited resources. Only in 1968 with the publication of Bevis Hillier's landmark book Art Deco; was there an objective reappraisal and resurgence of interest in this much disparaged style by a hip younger generation, and since then its popularity has indeed gone from strength to strength.

Bevis Hillier and Stephen Escritt have written a thoroughly absorbing volume that is impeccably researched, and I think one that will keep you rapt for many hours. Art Deco Style is a fascinating art historical survey of this all pervasive movement from its stylistic roots in Art Nouveau, to its conclusion with the outbreak of hostilities in World War II. Nearly seventy years later Art Deco is more popular than ever with many fantastic books written on the subject; and today Art Deco objets d'art fetch high prices from avid collectors in chic antique stores, and prestigious auction houses; while more than ever contemporary artists, designers and architects are also finding creative inspiration in its exuberant glamour, as this book will show. At its absolute best Art Deco could be urbane, sleek and classy and sometimes even spectacular or dazzling. And while to some Art Deco may seem dated, gaudy and superficial for the true aficionado this style will always remain visually beguiling; so hopefully this illuminating volume will inspire in you a deeper appreciation of all things Art Deco.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa032a084) out of 5 stars Minimal pictures 20 April 2002
By misterbeets - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the perspective of someone who has served as a museum curator. Full of elegantly written recollections, anecdotes and stories about the well-known names, but not a catalog of pictures.
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