Picks and Pans Review: The Encyclopedia of Art Deco
Aficionados and serious collectors of Art Deco—or just those people who fancy things that look like something out of a Jean Harlow movie—will love this book. Subtitled "An illustrated guide to a decorative style from 1920 to 1939," it includes essays by Alastair Duncan, a consultant on 19th-and 20th-century decorative arts at Christie's auction house in New York, and five other experts on architecture, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, textiles, furniture and interior decoration. Duncan writes authoritatively but in textbook prose: "Nowhere in the United States did Art Deco architecture manifest itself with more uniformity than in Miami Beach." This 192-page volume, with more than 350 pictures, looks at the design world's sleekest period, which derived its name from the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industrials Modernes held in Paris in 1925. This may sound too much like a tedious encyclopedia, but it reads like a flavorful piece of nostalgia. (Dutton, $29.95)
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