To begin with ,
we should say that , generally the Art Deco basically refers the movement in
decorative arts. The
Roaring Twenties was the period of time , when the Western culture started to
evolve rapidly and concurrently in a great way during and around the 1920s. It
was a period that the majority of people were pretty rich as that period of
time , jobs were developing. Also a distinctive cultural edge in the United
States was observed, particularly in major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles
and in New York City. The
unique art movement of this period attracted the imagination of nations all
over the world. Generally the Art Deco style originated in France before the World
War I. It had a great effect on architecture , but also on the interior decoration
of the buildings in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. The greatest and
most famous examples were the skyscrapers of New York, including the Empire State
Building and the Chrysler Building.

The Art Deco style also appeared in the graphic arts, as
soon as it started expanding. Firstly , appeared in Paris in the posters and
some costume designs , such as Leon’s Bakst and Ballets’ Russes. The
illustrations of Georges Barbier, and Georges Lepape and the images in one of
the most famous fashion magazines , the ‘La Gazette du bon ton’ ,adopted the
elegance and sensuality of the style. In the 1920s, the look changed, as the
fashions stressed were more casual, sportive and brave, with the lady models
often smoking cigarettes. American magazines referring to fashion, like air and
Harper’s Bazaar immediately adopted the new style and propelled it in the
United States. It also affected the work of American book illustrators such as
Rockwell Kent. In
addition , Japanese woodblock prints, had become a major source of influence
for the Western artists, especially in Europe. The subsequent influx of art
from Japan , had a great impact to Europe. Concretely, artists found in the
formal simplicity of woodblock prints a model , from which they could create
their own modern styles , such as Impressionist.

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Streamline Moderne was an assortment of Art Deco which
developed amid the mid-1930s. The architectural style was simpler and less
embellishing than prior Art Deco structures, more tuned with the Great
Depression. Structures in the style frequently looked like land bound boats,
with rounded corners, long flat lines, iron railings, and at times nautical characteristics.
The San Francisco Maritime Museum (1936) , which was a public bath house , was
a good example as also the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. Modern
aerodynamics affected the style and decoration. The shape of cars , trains and
ships had the shape of a bullet.

The Art Deco period was also the starting point of
time , when the tourism and travel started increasing rapidly.(e.g. automobiles
, airplanes and trains) Also in the new style , hotels of all types of categories
were built , but most luxury ones were observed to adopt this new style of
architecture and decoration , for example the Waldorf-Astoria  in New York City, that was built in 1929 and
was the tallest and largest hotel in the world when it was built.

First of all , a very important fact is that, the Art
Deco style originated in France and specifically in Paris , where not very high
buildings were observed. This fact was the reason that the United States soon started
building tall and impressive buildings. The first skyscrapers were built in
Chicago in the 1880s in the neoclassical style. The new Art Deco was also used
to build other great buildings in New York in the 1920s , the Empire State
Building and the Chrysler Building. The Empire State building was the tallest
building in the world for approximately forty years.

Furthermore , the Art Deco style was used for the decoration
of the interior and exterior of the skyscrapers , as zigzag and geometric
shapes were observed. Also another great landmark of the Art Deco style was the
RCA Victor Building that was constructed by John Walter Cross. From top to its
bottom , it was covered with many geometric shapes and some zigzag patterns as
well. The Art Deco style of skyscrapers was usually used for corporate office
buildings but in the course of time it was also used for some government
buildings. For example , the city halls of California , New York and Buffalo
were built in this style. Finally , the distinguishing features of the style
are simple , clean shape , often with a streamline look.

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