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Article

Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Martha Pollak

(b Nuremberg, Jan 4, 1940).

American architect of German birth. A graduate of the Technische Hochschule in Munich (1965), he pursued architectural studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, where he studied with Myron Goldsmith and Fazlur Khan. Having joined the respected Chicago architectural firm of C. F. Murphy in 1967, he became Principal of the renamed office Murphy/Jahn (1981), then President (1982) and Chief Executive officer (1983). Jahn’s reputation is due to the great number, prominence, and memorable character of his buildings. Using broad references from architectural history and appealing to a public visual memory nurtured on cartoons and Hollywood movies, he made use of a wide range of sources from the recent and distant past for his architectural compositions. Many of his works—eclectic pastiches that unite familiar and exotic elements—overwhelm the surrounding context and baffle the visitor with colour, megalomaniac scale, and effective use of sophisticated American construction techniques. New materials and structural ideas are used by Jahn with a consummate virtuosity that endows his buildings with the dramatic expression, movement, and restrained energy previously reserved for the harnessed power of applied modern science (rockets, nuclear stations). Simultaneously with the scene designers of contemporary science-fiction films, he realized the fantastic architecture projected in the 1920s and 1930s for a ‘brave new world’. This quality and its immediate visual appeal are most evident in the skyscrapers of the 1980s such as the Xerox Centre (...