Between World War I and World War II, escapism through art was born and it made its way into every lifestyle. It was seen in furniture, jewelry, and architecture. This new art revolution became known as “Art Deco” and it was stylish, luxurious, and extravagant. After World War I, artists wanted to create hope and optimism for the future.
The Art Deco movement began to decline when World War II began because the furniture was considered to extravagant for the economic hardships people were facing. Many of the pieces are now part of art collections.
Art Deco furniture characteristics
In furniture artist incorporated themes of fountains and sunburst to symbolize the dawning of a new modern age. There were also geometric shapes that were symbolic to technology and machinery. The artists also took their inspiration from ancient cultures such as the civilizations of Central America, Egypt, and Asia. They used luxuriant fabrics and vibrant colors. You saw satiny metal finishes, clamorous mirrors, exotic embellishments such as jewels, and luxuriant leathers. The artists did not used classic materials for their furnishings but instead used materials with glass, inlaid and lacquered wood, stainless steel, and aluminum. They also used daring symmetry and repetition, sweeping curves, the sunburst motif, and chevron patters.
Types of furnishings
• Mirrors-dressers, coffee tables, and vanity and dressing tables were being manufactured with mirrors
• Exotic wood furniture-various furnishings were being created using rare woods like ebony, Amboina, violetwood, and mahogany. They were also using woods that were not that expensive like ash, ample, and oak. Once the furniture was completed, they will put on a coat of lacquer that will give it a sleek glamorous look. When making Art Deco cabinets the use of lacquer was widespread.
• Metal finishing-in the 1920’s the industrial boom and the Machine Age were being symbolized, which transferred on to the furniture. It had futuristic look with stainless steel and metal finishes.
• Leather furniture-during the Art Deco period leather furniture was a big hit. The furniture was made of soft, richly textured leathers in three main colors, which were tan, black, and brown. Some dyed the leather gaudy colors like tangerine orange or cherry red. You could find ottomans, armchairs, and sofas made of leather.
• Wooden inlays-a primary characteristic of the Art Deco era was to give armchairs and sofas a classic wooden inlay. This gave the furniture an expensive sophisticated appeal. The colors that the artists mainly used were rich tones of gold, copper, and metallic.
• Luxurious embellishments-the furnishing was embellished with accents of luxurious quarts, onyx, ivory, Murano glass, jade, and other stones. The artists used these mostly in wall clocks, chandeliers, lamps and radios to give them epicurean and modern look.