Art déco (short for the French term ‘art décorative’ = decorative art) is a collective term for a style that influenced architecture, poster art, photography, and above all the product design of consumer objects, from approx. 1920 to 1940.
Art déco followed on from art nouveau, whose distinct consciousness of form it referenced, presenting it with a new industrial design more in keeping with the machine age. Abstract and elegant forms, a strong sense for the ornamental, symmetry, and precious materials such as exotic woods, ivory, chrome, and crystal all played a key role in its form repertoire. In the area of furniture and jewellery design, objects were commonly produced in small numbers. However, the simplicity of the style also shaped the industrial design and mass production of less expensive products, such as household goods and fashion accessories. The name “art déco” was only applied in 1966, and was a reference to the 1925 exhibition of arts and crafts in Paris, which bore the same name.