Ancient Aztec and Egyptian forms greatly influenced Art Deco, a diversified artistic and design style that began in the 1920’s, in Paris, and prospered past the 1930’s and into the World War II era.
Unlike its predecessor, Art Nouveau, Art Deco did not have philosophical or political roots. Rather, it was strictly decorative. In fact, its name has practical origins. The term Art Deco was coined in 1966, years after the style emerged, following an exhibit in Paris to commemorate “Les Années 25.” This refers to the “1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes” or International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts.
In all areas of design, architecture, industrial design, interior design, the visual and graphic arts, film, fashion and jewelry, Art Deco represented elegance and glamor, modernity and functionality. Art Deco espouses symmetrical lines, whereas Art Nouveau favored asymmetry and organic curves.
The Chrysler Building, erected between 1928 and 1930 in New York City, is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture.