Art Deco

The term ‘Art Deco’ was born from the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. This was an exhibition in Paris in 1925 that had a strong emphasis on jewellery. In 1925 Paris, the art movement of Modernism was running strong, and this can be seen in Art Deco jewellery. The catchcy of Modernism was ‘Make it new’, and Art Deco jewellery was innovative in incorporating influences from modern industry like minimalism and even brutalism. Furthermore, there was an influence from exotic cultures including Africa, Asia and Latin America—because the globalisation of this time-period was creating exciting new cultural influences. You can see Art Deco that resembles Japanese painting and wabi sabi aesthetics; you can see Egyptian symbolism and you can see African patterning. Even furthermore, this vibrant and eclectic style of jewellery was inspired by the Modernist art movements—Cubism and Fauvism, which were quite strikingly inventive. You can see the shifting geometries of Cubism in the metalwork and the watery shades of Fauvism in the gemstones in many great works of Art Deco jewellery.

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