This winter 2008, the National Gallery of Victoria is the exclusive Australian venue for a major exhibition of the celebrated and popular style, Art Deco. The exhibition is the most popular program ever mounted at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which houses one of the world’s great collections of Art Deco. The exhibition comprises over 300 works and covers all artistic media from painting to photography, fashion to film and architecture to jewellery. Spanning the boom of the roaring Twenties and the Depression–ridden 1930s, Art Deco came to epitomise all the glamour, opulence and hedonism of the Jazz age. It was the era of the flapper girl, the luxury ocean liner, the Hollywood film and the skyscraper.
Art Deco burst onto the world stage at the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale, and quickly swept across the globe. Its influence was everywhere: it transformed the skylines of the cities of New York to Shanghai and shaped the design of everything from fashionable evening wear to plastic radios. Its influence was felt across all areas of art and design, including decorative arts, architecture, fashion, art, graphics and film. The new aesthetics were also found in industrial design, furniture, transport, communications and in household items. Above all, it became the style of the pleasure palaces of the age – hotels, cocktails bars, nightclubs and cinemas.
Exhibition organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.