When Art Déco Dazzled The World is a major new exhibition taking place from the 16th October 2013 to the 17th February 2014. This design movement grew out of the influence of rapid industrialisation on contemporary culture and flourished in the first half of the 20th century. With its bright colours, strikingly bold geometric shapes, craft motifs and rich ornamentation it is still an influence today. This essential show takes place at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine. This splendid museum of architecture is situated in the Palais de Chaillot, just across the Seine from the Hotel Beaugrenelle Tour Eiffel.
This remarkable exhibition is arranged as a set of sequences, each having its own theme and together demonstrating how Art Déco developed in France to become internationally acclaimed. The exhibition begins by drawing comparisons between Art Déco and its predecessor Art Nouveau. This is demonstrated using designs and photographs of the Villa Majorelle of Henri Sauvage, the Villa Cavrois of Robert Mallet-Stevens or the Orgeval Castel of Hector Guimard.
Next is a display featuring French designers of the 20th century's first decade, whose work already embodied Art Déco characteristics prior to the advent of the movement. In fact there is much to be said for the argument that the movement can trace its roots as far back as 1900.
Following this is a section examining the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs & Industriels Modernes. This event inspired the architect and designer Le Corbusier to coin the term Art Déco when he wrote of the exposition in a series of articles.
The final part of the exhibition showcases the global impact of the movement, when French artists, designers and architects took their talents out on the international stage. This helped the movement to flourish globally in the later 1920s and throughout the 1930s. Indeed, it was only the austerity of World War II which began the decline of this popular and endearingly ostentatious movement.
Picture 'Palais de La Porte Dorée' copyright holder : Mbzt - Wikimedia Commons
Hotel Beaugrenelle Tour Eiffel, a welcoming hotel near the Eiffel Tower