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Art Deco: Vibrant, Eclectic, and Dynamic

Weekend All-Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, November 4, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2288
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Lady with Panther by George Barbier, display card for Louis Cartier, 1914 

With the advent of the Jazz Age, the art world searched for modern forms and decorative motifs to reflect this exciting new era. They were found in bold geometric shapes such as chevrons, lozenges, zigzags, and sunbursts and in contemporary technology and materials. Drawing on a variety of historical sources, including ancient Egypt, the classical world, and Asian art, Art Deco soon reflected modern living, the machine age, and the skyscraper.

Art historian Bonita Billman discusses this vibrant movement that used all major media including glass, ceramics, metal, wood, textiles, paper, marble, and paint. Through illustrated lectures she highlights examples of Art Deco in architecture, furniture, interiors, fashions, advertisements, and films.

Billman, who is retired from the department of art and art history at Georgetown University, lectures for a variety of organizations in the mid-Atlantic region.

10­–11:15 a.m.  Art Deco’s Origins

The 1925 International Exposition of Decorative Arts in Paris showcased the work of such giants as Lalique and Ruhlmann and gave the world its first comprehensive look at Art Deco.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.  Le Jazz Hot: French Art Deco

Billman surveys the jewelry and glass designs of René Lalique; the exquisite furniture and interiors of Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann; fashions by Poiret and Vionnet; the metalwork of Edgar Brandt; Cassandre’s posters; and more.

12:45–1:15 p.m.  Break

1:15–2:30 p.m.  Art Deco in England and the Empire

The British Empire embraced the motifs and Deco style that are seen in its cinemas, factories, hotels, and streetscapes. Hercule Poirot would feel at home.

2:45–4 p.m.  American Art Deco and Streamline Moderne

Art Deco’s American reflections include the skyscraper; Rockefeller Center; the hotels of South Beach; movie palaces; and glamorously sleek film settings.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.