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Art Nouveau, Art Deco

Art Nouveau was a movement in architecture that was highly popular in major European cities as well as the United States between 1890 and 1914 (Craven 1). Art Nouveau was a reaction in design against classical approaches that were formal in nature. Instead, the Art Nouveau ethic embraced the idea that "the greatest beauty could be found in nature" (Craven 1). If Art Nouveau was a reaction against the machine age and mechanized approaches to design, the Art Deco movement in architecture is symbolic of the machine age. Art Deco was also an international design movement in architecture, lasting from 1925 until 1939 (Art Deco 1).

The designs of Art Nouveau often mimicked nature, with soft, sinuous lines and curved shapes that often resembled the flow of water. The designs of Art Deco are more geometric in shape, with angular or jagged lines and other more easily manufactured designs. Materials used in the two design styles also differ, with Art Nouveau using rich materials like marble, stained glass, and other fine materials in design like the use of mosaic. Comparatively, Art Deco relied on materials more associated with manufacturing, from aluminum and steel to concrete and terra cotta. Art Nouveau design was influenced by nature, perhaps most clearly seen in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States, whose designs often incorporated actual elements of nature. Art Deco, in contrast, was influenced by machine production and various classical influences from Egyptian pyramids and steppes design to "primitive arts" from Africa to Aztec Mexico (Art Deco 2). From streamlined ocean liners to skyscrapers, inspiration for Art Deco stemmed from the capacities of machines.

Art Nouveau design often includes more complex detailing, often in shapes that resembled flowing water, leaves, and other curved and asymmetrical forms. As Bruce Sherman (91) explains, "Nouveau designs are characterize...

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Art Nouveau, Art Deco. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:33, May 31, 2020, from