Encyclopedia of Art Deco

Alastair Duncan, Editor Dutton Books $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24613-8
``Art deco,'' Duncan (American Art Deco, etc.) explains, ``is not always easy to define.'' The various authors of the chapters on architecture, sculpture, furniture and interior decoration, painting, bookbinding, glass, metalwork, textiles, jewelry, etc., fail to come up with even a working definition; they use terms and hypotheses that vary greatly, leaving the reader with the notion that anything that happened in the field between World Wars I and II falls under the rubric ``art deco.'' The arbitrarily delineated sections consist mainly of lists of the practitioners, with a description of works by the most important ones (Rene Lalique, Gabrielle ``Coco'' Chanel, Erte). Often, instead of providing a needed illustration, the book refers the reader to another source where, presumably, the illustration in question can be found. A biographical listing of art deco artists and designers printed distractingly at the bottom of each page does not include several of the artists covered in the text, among them furniture designer Paul Frankl and illustrator Baron Hans Henning-Voigt. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-84013-092-8
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