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From April 15 to November 12, 1900 the Exposition Universelle, a world's fair took place in Paris to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next. The style that was universally present in the Exposition was Art Nouveau. Though Art Nouveau art and architecture has flourished at that time, some French artists organized a formal collective known as La Societe des artistes decorateurs (the society of the decorator artists).
Founders included Hector Guimard, Eugene Grasset, Raoul Lachenal, Paul Follot, Maurice Dufrene, and Emile Decour. These artists heavily influenced the principles of Art Deco as a whole. This society's purpose was to demonstrate French decorative art's leading position and evolution internationally. In 1925 they organized Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art), which would feature French art and business interests. Art Deco was developed in direct contrast to the preceding Art Nouveau era and was most prominent between World War I and World War II, during the 1920s and 1930s.
The initial movement was called Style Moderne. The term Art Deco was derived from the Exposition of 1925, though it was not until the late 1960s that this term was coined by art historian Bevis Hillier, and popularized by his 1968 book "Art Deco of the 20s and 30s". In the summer of 1969, Hillier conceived organizing an exhibition called Art Deco at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which took place from July to September 1971. After this event, interest in Art Deco peaked with the publication of Hillier's 1971 book The World of Art Deco, a record of the exhibition.
The Art Deco art movement and style had a lot influence in the world of jewelry. Females of this time period began demonstrating their new equality by baring arms, painting lips, bobbing hair and wearing short dresses in the scandalous "flapper" style. This new, boyish silhouette was accessorized with Art Deco jewelry, which consisted of long dangling necklaces and earrings, bold rings and multiple bracelets.
Art Deco jewelry designs were influenced by Egyptian, African and Oriental themes. The integration of mysterious Chinese and Indian style and orient elements of Japanese art make Art Deco jewelry occupied with mysterious charm. It used its creative design to perpetually mark down exotic culture. All the treasure with mysterious orient features uniquely deduced the orient culture. Since the tomb of Tutankhamun was found in 1922 by archaeologist, a new trend of Egyptian decoration swept across the jewelry fashion by creative inspiration.
Common Art Deco jewelry motifs included cute animals, silly fruit, fast cars and sparkling flowers in every imaginable color. Scarabs and sphinx elements are inspired by the Egyptian influences. Transportation symbols, such as planes, cars and even fast animals like panthers became a recurring theme in Art Deco jewelry design. At the early twenty century, Russian Ballet and American Jazz had a great and meaningful effect, designers integrated the unique charm of stage art into the design of jewelry; the jewelry styles also reflected the playful, flamboyant attitude of Hollywood.
Art Deco jewelry has regular, symmetrical classic design and simple geometrical lines. Heavily influenced by the mechanical aesthetics rose by industrial culture, Art Deco jewelry design is easily characterized by its sleek curves, geometric patterns and shapes. The long thin straight and fold lines are very different from the prior era of Art Nouveau, which had vine coils, curves, flowing lines and lavish ornamentation.
The influence of popular Cubist painters also inspired geometric Art Deco jewelry styles. Circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, arcs and triangles were widely used. Designers such as Coco Chanel, Rene Jules Lalique and Elsa Schiaparelli were of the first to introduce the clean-cut motif to the upper echelon of society and Hollywood.
Most of the Art Deco jewelry has a very luxury design. This is because of the large amount of money that was made in the World War I. All this money gave the opportunity to buy the best fashionable materials like platinum, yellow and red gold for the design of the jewels.
Art Deco jewelry was also characterized by dramatic, unusual combinations of materials and was often used with precious and semiprecious stones. Not only were diamonds a common element in Art Deco jewelry, but ruby, onyx, jade, amethyst, emeralds, sapphires, pearls, even carnelian, turquoise and coral were gems often used to accent pieces or stand alone.
During the Art Deco period, the colors used in jewelry were typically much brighter and bolder than jewelry created during other periods such as Art Nouveau or Edwardian. Combinations of various different bold colors are also a staple of the Art Deco period. Sometimes, color even becomes the most important elements of the design, which is regarded to be a break in jewelry design.
The bright pure colors, contrastive colors and metallic colors are used to form a magnificent and dazzling visional effect. Black, white, yellow, red, dark blue, green, gold and silver are boldly used into the creation of jewelry. The style emphasized a very abstract design with geometric patterns and as most favorite colors, the baguette, caliber, triangle, emerald and shield gemstone cuts were popular in the 1920s because they blended so much with the geometrical lines of the Art Deco style.
Another feature of Art Deco is using necklaces over pendants. Pendants usually just have a few stones hanging off of a chain. In Art Deco jewelry, the tendency was to go for entire neckpieces where the metal or gem went around the entire neck.
With bold and dramatic colors and heavily eastern-influenced elements, the Art Deco period of jewelry is still a beloved look for fashion history buffs or those interested in vintage styles. Years later in the 1960s and 1970s Art Deco came back as a very popular decorative art. Even nowadays you can see that Art Deco style has great influence on our designing in all kind of branches.