Art of America - Netflix

Andrew Graham-Dixon embarks on his most ambitious journey yet, an exploration of the rich, exciting and diverse art history of the United States of America

Art of America - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2011-11-14

Art of America - Art Deco - Netflix

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925. It combined modernist styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress. Art Deco was a pastiche of many different styles, sometimes contradictory, united by a desire to be modern. From its outset, Art Deco was influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism; the bright colors of Fauvism and of the Ballets Russes; the updated craftsmanship of the furniture of the eras of Louis Philippe and Louis XVI; and the exotic styles of China and Japan, India, Persia, ancient Egypt and Maya art. It featured rare and expensive materials, such as ebony and ivory, and exquisite craftsmanship. The Chrysler Building and other skyscrapers of New York built during the 1920s and 1930s are monuments of the Art Deco style. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Art Deco style became more subdued. New materials arrived, including chrome plating, stainless steel and plastic. A sleeker form of the style, called Streamline Moderne, appeared in the 1930s; it featured curving forms and smooth, polished surfaces. Art Deco is one of the first truly international styles, but its dominance ended with the beginning of World War II and the rise of the strictly functional and unadorned styles of modernism and the International Style of architecture that followed.

Art of America - Design - Netflix

Streamline was a variety of Art Deco which emerged during the mid-1930s. It was influenced by modern aerodynamic principles developed for aviation and ballistics to reduce air friction at high velocities. The bullet shapes were applied by designers to cars, trains, ships, and even objects not intended to move, such as refrigerators, gas pumps, and buildings. One of the first production vehicles in this style was the Chrysler Airflow of 1933. It was unsuccessful commercially, but the beauty and functionality of its design set a precedent; meant modernity. It continued to be used in car design well after World War II. New industrial materials began to influence design of cars and household objects. These included aluminum, chrome, and bakelite, an early form of plastic. Bakelite could be easily molded into different forms, and soon was used in telephones, radios and other appliances. Ocean liners also adopted a style of Art Deco, known in French as the Style Paquebot, or “Ocean Liner Style”. The most famous example was the SS Normandie, which made its first transatlantic trip in 1935. It was designed particularly to bring wealthy Americans to Paris to shop. The cabins and salons featured the latest Art Deco furnishings and decoration. The Grand Salon of the ship, which was the restaurant for first-class passengers, was bigger than the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. It was illuminated by electric lights within twelve pillars of Lalique crystal; thirty-six matching pillars lined the walls. This was one of the earliest examples of illumination being directly integrated into architecture. The style of ships was soon adapted to buildings. A notable example is found on the San Francisco waterfront, where the Maritime Museum building, built as a public bath in 1937, resembles a ferryboat, with ship railings and rounded corners. The Star Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong also used a variation of the style.

Art of America - References - Netflix