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Daniel Le Couédic


(b Nantes, March 19, 1891; d Paris, Jan 20, 1966).

French architect and teacher. A student of Alfred-Henri Recoura (1864–1939), he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1920. He settled in Paris, and his first works were influenced by Art Deco. In 1923 he became one of the two architects of the new seaside resort of Sables-d’Or-les-Pins (Côtes-du-Nord). There, and in the nearby village of Val-André, Abraham began his analysis and rejection of the picturesque in such buildings as Villa Miramar (1928) and Villa Ramona (1929). In 1929, in partnership with Henry-Jacques Le Même (b 1897), he made his first design for a sanatorium, later executing three examples at Passy (Haute-Savoie), which are among his best works: Roc-de-Fiz (1931), Guébriant (1933) and Geoffroy de Martel de Janville (1939). Two blocks of flats built in Paris in 1931 (at 28 Boulevard Raspail and Square Albinoni) characterize the peak of his production in their precision and sobriety of composition, moderate use of the modernist vocabulary and use of new techniques and materials....


(b Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 3, 1870; d Paris, Aug 14, 1935).

French architect. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Paul-René-Léon Ginain and Louis-Henri-Georges Scellier de Gisors, receiving his architectural diploma in 1892. His early work included S. Bing’s Art Nouveau pavilion (destr.) at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 (inspired by Louis Bonnier’s initial project), blocks of flats in Paris in ashlar work, for example 236–238 Boulevard Raspail, 105 Rue Raymond Poincaré (both 1906) and the corner site of the Avenues du Bois de Boulogne et Malakoff (c. 1908), as well as regionalist constructions (garage in Neuilly and rural buildings in Herqueville and Heilly). He participated regularly in the competitions organized by the City of Paris, building low-cost housing schemes in the Rue Brillat-Savarin (1914–30) and the garden city at Chatenay-Malabry (1920–32) in collaboration with Joseph Bassompierre and Paul de Rutté. Following World War I he was named architect for the reconstruction schemes for the districts of Aisne and Pas-de-Calais....


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...


Term generally applied to architecture and design movements between 1925 and 1945. Derived from the title of the international exhibition of industrial and decorative arts held in Paris in 1925, ‘Art Deco’ was coined in 1968 by British historian Bevis Hillier to describe the architecture and design arts of the 1920s and 1930s, known at the time as Art Moderne. In actuality, Art Deco is a catchall term for different developments in the design arts and architecture between the World Wars. In some circles, Art Deco is considered an outgrowth of French Art Nouveau, the German Jugendstil and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Architectural historian David Gebhard distinguished three styles within Art Deco architecture in America: ‘Zigzag Moderne’, ‘Streamlined Moderne’ and the more classically retrained ‘PWA Moderne’ or ‘Federal Moderne’. These same three, Robert Craig labels ‘Art Deco’, ‘Streamlined Moderne’ and ‘Modern classic in American architecture’. Design historian Jeffrey L. Meikle refers to varying Art Deco styles as ‘exposition style’, ‘modernistic’ and ‘streamlined’, avoiding using the phrase ‘streamline[d] moderne’ as it suggests a strong connection with the French Moderne style....


Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...


Regina Maria Prosperi Meyer

revised by Helena Bender

(Antonio da Cunha)

(b Rio de Janeiro, Dec 4, 1891; d São Paulo, Aug 14, 1980).

Brazilian architect and professor. Educated at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, between 1908 and 1920, his main built work includes the building for the newspaper A Noite (1927, Rio de Janeiro), the Viaduto do Chá (1934–1938, São Paulo), and the João Brícola/Mappin Store Building (1937, São Paulo). As a professor, he taught courses on landscape architecture and professional practice at the Escola de Engenharia, later Mackenzie School of Architecture (1943–1970) and the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo of the University of São Paulo (1954). He also represented the schools of engineering (1946–1949) and architecture (1949–1952) at the São Paulo Conselho Regional de Engenharia e Agronomia (Regional Board for Engineering, Architecture, and Agronomy; CREA). Bahiana was a pioneer in the rational use of reinforced concrete in Brazil. Historians associated his work with Art Deco tendencies due to the geometric shapes of its ornamentation. Bahiana himself, however, claimed not to pertain to such a category of style....


Alan Powers


(b London, April 8, 1881; d London, April 15, 1939).

English designer. His early life was divided between the stage and the sea. He was a theatre designer in London and New York, and his stage career continued after World War I service and his survival of the sinking of the Lusitania. In 1924 he was Consultant Artistic and Technical Director of the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, London, designing murals and restaurant interiors, as well as presentations in the Government Theatre (‘Attack on Zeebrugge’) and the Admiralty Theatre (‘Air attack on London’). He is chiefly remembered for his design work for J. Lyons & Co., the London hotel and catering firm. Bernard’s displays of marble, glass and chromium plate were dazzling but inexpensive. For the Tottenham Court Road Corner House (1926), London, he made an inlaid marble decoration of Niagara Falls, now covered over. The entrance to the Strand Palace Hotel (1930–31; dismantled, parts in London, V&A) was one of London’s few Art Deco extravaganzas. Bernard also had a lively interest in the Modern Movement, assisting in ...


Jean-François Pinchon

(b Paris, 1878; d Nov 6, 1948).

French architect, grandson of Louis-Auguste Boileau. He was a student of Gaston Redon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, graduating in 1907. Shortly thereafter he designed the Hotel Lutetia (1910; with Henri Tauzin), Paris, with faĉades and reception rooms that successfully combine Baroque ornamentation, characteristic of turn-of-the-century eclecticism, with a touch of Art Nouveau. He inherited from his father, Louis-Charles Boileau, the position of architect of the Bon Marché department stores and built for them an annexe (1924) at the corner of the Rue du Bac and Rue de Sèvres, Paris, the Pavilion Pomone at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), and several stores in other French cities. In his interior designs for the Prunier restaurant (1925) on the Rue Traktir and the Café des Capucines (1928), both in Paris, Boileau appears as a major proponent of a classicizing, rich but not stuffy version of Art Deco. In the 1930s his style became more sober, as demonstrated by his Maison de France (...


Marie-Laure Crosnier Leconte


(b The Hague, 1834; d Jouy-en-Josas, Sept 13, 1907).

French architect of Dutch birth. He moved to France about 1840, when his mother, who was divorced, married the French architect Léon Vaudoyer, who, like her, was a Protestant. In 1868 he adopted French nationality. Bouwens studied architecture (1853–7) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the ateliers of Henri Labrouste and Vaudoyer. Thanks to the influence of his stepfather he then joined the administration of the City of Paris, first as deputy inspector to his stepfather at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers and from 1860 as chief architect for the 16e arrondissement. Through his involvement in the development of Auteuil he gained the confidence of its backer, Baron Erlanger, a businessman of German origin who had made his fortune in France under the Second Empire, and this led to some private commissions. In 1861 Bouwens also married into a German family with connections in international finance. The resulting network of family connections and private patronage enabled him to give up his administrative posts and devote himself entirely to a wealthy and cosmopolitan clientele, many of whose members were Jewish or Protestant, for which he produced work in an eclectic and refined style that was rooted in the Second Empire. This clientele expanded from the financial world to include collectors, authors and foreign aristocrats....


José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, Aug 15, 1897; d Lisbon, April 24, 1970).

Portuguese architect. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the Escola de Belas Artes, Lisbon, and early in his career produced one of the most impressive Art Deco buildings in Lisbon, the Eden cinema (1930–31; with Carlos Dias; later altered), Praça dos Restauradores. This building incorporated suggestions of Futurism, notably in the dynamic spatial design and definition of the main entrance and staircase system as well as the volumetric glass façade. He also designed one of the city’s most imaginative Rationalist buildings, the Hotel Vitória (1934, Avenida da Liberdade. He later worked on the Coliseum (1939; with Júlio de Brito and Mário de Abreu) in Rua Passos Manuel, Oporto, another important Modernist building. One of the most talented architects of the early Modern Movement in Portugal, Branco was an unusual figure and a combative personality; his early involvement in left-wing political activity resulted in his increasing professional isolation in the context of the reactionary government (...


Lisa Stone

(b Hamilton, AL, Dec 10, 1941; d Atlanta, GA, Nov 22, 1997).

American painter, printmaker, and collector. Brown was raised in Alabama, where his religious upbringing and interest in folk and material culture, comics aesthetics, and vernacular and Art Deco architecture were formative. He moved to Chicago in 1962 and earned a certificate in commercial design prior to studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he gravitated to pre-Renaissance Italian art, Surrealism, artists Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Georgia O’Keeffe, and tribal art. Painter Ray Yoshida and art historian Whitney Halstead were seminal influences at SAIC. Both included folk, popular, and self-taught art within the scope of their teaching.

Brown earned his BFA (1968) and his MFA (1970) at SAIC. Works by Brown and fellow students were recognized by curator Don Baum, who organized spirited ‘Chicago School’ exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) from 1966 to 1971; Brown’s work was shown there with the group False Image (...


Leonard R. Griffin

(b Tunstall, Staffs, Jan 20, 1899; d Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, Oct 23, 1972).

English potter and designer. She left school in 1912 to work as a pottery apprentice at Lingard, Webster & Co. and in 1916 joined A. J. Wilkinson Ltd near Burslem. Noticing her talent for modelling, the director, Colley Shorter (1882–1963), let her work beside his designers and financed her for a two-month course at the Royal College of Art in London in 1927. Inspired by the experience, Cliff persuaded Shorter to let her decorate ware with a small team at the recently acquired Newport Pottery. Wilkinson’s had acquired thousands of pieces of old-fashioned earthenwares from the Newport Pottery, and Cliff’s team hand-painted them with brightly coloured, geometric patterns. Cliff named the ware ‘Bizarre’ in January 1928, and it was a success by October of the same year. She then produced her most famous and popular design, ‘Crocus’, which features flowers between brown and yellow bands. From then, all Cliff’s ware was stamped with: ...


Gordon Campbell


(b San Francisco, Jan 8, 1873; d New York, April 21, 1954).

American architect, teacher and writer. He studied engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1895, and then went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1896), where he entered the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal and received his diploma in 1900. In 1901 he joined the New York office of Cass Gilbert as a draughtsman, later going into partnership (1903–12) with F. Livingston Pell and, until 1922, with Frank J. Helmle. His earliest major commissions were won in competitions, including those for the Maryland Institute (1908–13) in Baltimore, a variation on a Florentine palazzo, and the classical Municipal Group building (1916–17) in Springfield, MA. From 1907 to the mid-1930s he lectured at the Columbia School of Architecture, which followed the Beaux-Arts educational system. The vertically expressive Bush Terminal Tower (1920–24) on 42nd Street, New York, with its prominent position and slight setbacks in buff, white and black brick, marked his début as an influential skyscraper designer and he maintained his leading position through the 1920s and 1930s. Both in his work and writing for the media, Corbett explored the creative potential of the ‘setback’ restrictions of the New York zoning laws of ...


(b Warsaw, 1898; d Mexico, March 18, 1980).

American painter of Polish birth. She lived among the wealthy aristocracy in St Petersburg and fled with her husband from the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1918 she arrived in Paris, where she studied briefly at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse, before studying under Maurice Denis at the Académie Ranson, and then under André Lhote. Lhote’s theories of composition, his insistence on careful figure studies and the precise application of paint, often using pure colour, provided the groundwork for her own style of freely interpreted Synthetic Cubism. This rapidly became identified with Art Deco and with modernity of style and subject-matter. All her paintings were carefully composed. She made little attempt to create three-dimensional effects, but using hard, angular lines and shapes contrasted against rounded, soft forms, she created a highly stylized view of the world, in particular of the sophisticated society of Paris (e.g. Andromède, 1929...


M. Stapleton

(b 1900; d 1942).

Australian architect. His major work began in 1929 when he won the competition for the Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, with a design for a monumental, blocky and sculptural building to commemorate World War I. The Memorial, completed by 1934, incorporates sculpture by Rayner Hoff and emotive architectural imagery to contrive a building closely allied to the popular sentiment of the period. Dellit was one of the first Australian architects to embrace modern architectural forms, and he became an outspoken critic of the use of historic motifs in contemporary city buildings. His highly personalized architecture used the decorative motifs and forms of the Art Deco style. His commercial work in Sydney included the Liberty Cinema (1934; destr.), with a striking, stepped Art Deco façade; Kinsela Funeral Chapel (1933), now remodelled as a nightclub, designed in Art Deco-inspired ‘gothic’; and the office blocks Kyle House (...


revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...


Jean-François Lejeune

(b Live Oak, FL, Feb 16, 1901; d Long Island, 1949).

American architect. Dixon studied at Georgia School of Technology in Atlanta (1918–20) and joined the firm of New York architects Schultze & Weaver in 1923, where he learned the practice of hotel architecture as “total design,” worked on projects such as the Roney Plaza Hotel on Miami Beach, and was introduced to the discipline of the Art Deco language by Lloyd Morgan. Returning to Florida in 1929, Dixon worked for George Fink, Phineas Paist, and Harold D. Steward before opening his office and building his first apartment-hotel (the Ester) on Miami Beach in 1933. Until 1942 Dixon was the foremost architectural innovator in Miami Beach where, along with colleagues such as Henry Hohauser, Albert Anis, and Roy France, he adapted the architectural innovations coming from Europe and New York to the middle-class programs of the southern resort; employing inexpensive construction techniques, Dixon created a its unique “vernacular modern” architectural fabric. Until Igor Polevitzky in the 1950s, Dixon was the most published Florida architect in such periodicals as ...


Gordon Campbell

(b 1876; d 1955).

French designer of furniture, glass, metal, ceramics and interiors. He was a pioneering exponent of Art Deco and a detractor of Art Nouveau, which in practice meant that he aspired to a style that was neither historical nor mannered. Dufrène was a founder-member in 1901 of the Société des Artistes-Décorateurs (SAD). He inaugurated a range of furniture in very dark native wood and defended functionalism and the use of mechanical processes and mass production. In ...



(b Millemont, Seine-et-Oise, Nov 23, 1876; d La Seyne, Var, Aug 8, 1938).

French painter. He left school at the age of 11 and worked for an industrial engraver, studying drawing at night classes. He later entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied under Hubert Ponscarme. There he met Charles Despiau, and, to support himself financially, he worked in the studio of Alexandre Charpentier. He first exhibited in 1905 at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris with a number of works in pastels. The following year he travelled extensively around Italy with the American engraver Herbert Lespinasse (b 1884). In 1910 he won the Prix de l’Afrique Nord with a pastel and therefore spent the years from 1910 to 1912 at the Villa Abd El Tif in Algiers, travelling all over the country and absorbing the local culture. His work up to 1910 had been mainly of Parisian theatres and cafés, executed in pastels or occasionally in tempera on canvas. In Algiers he abandoned pastels and began to work in oils, producing a number of brilliantly coloured works such as ...