The Art Deco movement, which swept through Europe and the United States in the early twentieth century, signaled the beginning of the modern age of design. This dazzling and distinctive style, with its emphasis on up-to-date individuality combined with good taste, fine materials, and exquisite workmanship, soon created new standards in furniture design, architecture, and the decorative arts. In furniture especially, the French predominated, from the virtuoso cabinet-making of Ruhlman to the brilliant originality of Gray and Legrain.
In Art Deco Furniture, Alastair Duncan introduces us to the work of eighty-five French architects, interior designers, and furniture makers. These pioneering designers replaced the heavy, stylized work of the past with furniture that was simpler in concept, geometric in form, and highlighted by dramatic lines and elegant curves. The color and monochrome photographs—almost all of them specially commissioned for this book—form a valuable portfolio of Art Deco furniture. This detailed study serves as both an essential reference book for collectors and a marvelous chronicle of one of the most exciting design movements in the history of the decorative arts.
Alastair Duncan was for fourteen years associated with Christie’s, New York, latterly as a Consultant. After joining the auction house in 1977, he organized and catalogued a great number of sales devoted to Art Nouveau and Art Deco and nineteenth-century decorative arts. He has acted as guest curator for exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and is now an independent consultant specializing in the decocrative arts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of many books, including Art Deco Furniture, Art Nouveau Furniture, American Art Deco, and Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany.