So what exactly is Art Deco? A lot of people confuse Art Deco with Art Nouveau. Both styles were around at roughly the same time, although Art Nouveau came slightly earlier. Some artists, like Rennie Mackintosh, could almost be considered to overlap both styles. Art Nouveau is a flowing, stylised depiction of natural forms, while Art Deco is more abstract, with geometric shapes and bold colours.

(hmm, perhaps there needs to be an Art Nouveau box in the future!)

Art Deco first appeared in France after the First World War, and spread worldwide in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Think of flappers, Louise Brooks and the Great Gatsby! Perhaps you’re not sure you’ve ever seen any Art Deco style, but I’m sure you have. What about these examples?

Chrysler Building     Art Deco poster     Art Deco in Miami

The Chrysler Building in New York, Art Deco style graphic design, Art Deco buildings in Miami.

As film and photography were developing at the same time as the Art Deco movement, there were films and film images that capture the style as well:

childofmanhattan      metropolis      Louise Brooks

Art Deco film set (Child of Manhattan, 1933), film poster for Metropolis (1927), actress Louise Brooks.

Art Deco jewellery and fashion were also very striking, as you can see from these examples:

fashion1 fashion2 fashion3 fashion4

jewellery-skinner jewellery3 jewellery4jewellery-hattons art deco jewelry

So I hope that has provided you with some Art Deco inspiration! We’d love to see anything you make that is inspired by this box.

If you’d like to learn more about 1920s and 30s fashion, and how to emulate it, check out this great website How to Gatsby