The bold lines and decorative details of Art Deco have stood the test of time since one of its first appearances in the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. The style reflected the confidence of the age—streamlined, chrome-clad, glossy black. Along with simple elegance, sharp lines, and cosmopolitan aspirations, Art Deco also carried surprises, juxtaposing designs growing out of speed (race cars and airplanes) with ancient Egyptian and Mexican details, visual references to Russian ballet, and allusions to Asian art.
Melissa Blair, coauthor with Rick Striner of Washington and Baltimore Art Deco: A Design History of Neighboring Cities, speaks on Wednesday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. at Baltimore’s Pikesville Library about the legacy of this exuberant architectural style in two quite different cities: the white-collar New Deal capital and the blue-collar industrial port city. Visit the library website for more information about the talk—and enjoy this selection of images from the very handsome book.