In the 1920?s-30?s, Art Deco was a very popular design movement. It was a conglomerate of many styles, deriving from Cubism, Art Nouveau, Futurism, Modernism, and Bauhaus. Deco artists were also inspired by the cultural heritages of Africa, Mesoamerica, and Egypt as well as East European folk art. Art Deco had a marked influence on numerous fields of art. We can find analogies among art produced in such diverse branches as interior design, architecture, painting, graphic arts, fashion, and film. The characteristic element of the style was sophisticated geometrization of forms. Artists working within the Art Deco style were seeking the decorative beauty of objects that was created in their utility of design.
The first big show that gathered representatives of the style (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art) took place in 1925 in Paris. From this time, the style would be called in many different ways: le Style 1925, Zig Zag, Ultramodern, the Poiret or the Chanel style. Finally in 1968, Bevis Hillier established the name that we use today ? Art Deco.
In 1993, the National Museum in Krakow organized the first Polish exhibition of the Art Deco genre. Back then, the style was considered unworthy of showing in a museum.
During recent years, the style has observed a new wave of interest. In 2003, one of the most influential museums in the world, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, took broad focus on deco design.
The exhibition being held at the National Museum in Krakow, starting this month and running into September, concentrates on the forms and shapes of Art Deco. The title of the exposition Art Deco and More refers to the fact that, even after many years of research on the style, the museum curator found the style still difficult to define. This show forms another step in constant studies on Art Deco.
On exhibition there are over 600 art pieces, representing a cross-section of the arts made during the 1920?s-30?s: artistic fabrics and fashions (a collection of women?s dresses, hats and accessories), Polish glassware from Niemen Glass Works, ceramics as well as Polish orders and decoration. The star turn of Art Deco and More is a presentation of 100 posters made by the best Polish designers of the time. The collection comes to us from the Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Crafts in Lviv.
The exceptional atmosphere of the era can be experienced at Art Deco and More until September 2.
For conservation reasons, the Lviv collection will only be on view till the end of June, when it will be replaced by a collection of posters from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and never-before-exhibited architectural drawings from our collection.
Art Deco and More (Until September 2)
National Museum in Krakow
Main Building, al. Maja 1/3