Cover image for American art deco : architecture and regionalism
American art deco : architecture and regionalism
Breeze, Carla.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2003]

Physical Description:
287 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA712.5.A7 B698 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
NA712.5.A7 B698 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
NA712.5.A7 B698 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
NA712.5.A7 B698 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Art deco flourished in cities and small towns throughout America during the 1920s and 1930s. Extremely popular as a statement of modernity and technological progress, art deco movie palaces, dime stores, department stores, courthouses, and schools were ubiquitous in the American landscape; numerous examples of the style continue to be viable spaces. American art deco was unique. Unlike their European counterparts, architects in the United States had "exotic" indigenous cultures for inspiration. Arts such as Navajo chiefs' blankets, Hopi pottery, and Sioux beadwork, characterized by geometric ornament, were easily assimilated into the art deco style. Regionalism? good example of which is the Prairie style, advocated by Frank Lloyd Wright and other progressive architects?lso influenced American art deco. America's pioneering and westward migration provided powerful themes and motifs, producing an art deco with authentic national and regional characteristics. American Deco features descriptions?nd over 500 color photographs?f 75 opulent buildings across the country that have been preserved. The photographs document interiors, exteriors, and details of deco skyscrapers, courthouses, theaters, and other significant buildings.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This photographic survey of Art Deco architecture and interiors in the United States is the most impressive this reviewer has seen to date. It exhibits more than 500 resplendent color photographs of the nation's most popular samples of Jazz Age style, dating from the 1920s to the 1950s, all taken by Breeze, one of the country's foremost architectural photographers. Breeze has also written the text, emphasizing the meaning of Art Deco as an American fusion of geometry, mechanolatry, materiality, and nationality, including nativist cultures. Before European modern architecture of the 1920s blew out the candles on the Beaux Arts wedding cake of design in the mid-20th century, Art Deco was America's leading public and commercial style, featured in post offices, city halls, movie palaces, apartment houses, and department stores all over the country. It was a "people's" style-traditional, ornamental, communicative, and reassuring-and this book will do a lot to retain and revive interest in it. Recommended for all architecture collections.-Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This handsome photographic survey of American Art Deco architecture is a wonderful addition to the literature on Art Deco. Breeze, an architectural photographer and author of previous books on various aspects of Art Deco, arranges her survey geographically. Regionalism is a major theme and, throughout, she notes local sources for ornamental motifs. She is particularly interested in the influence of Native American design on Art Deco decorative programs. Breeze avoids one of the common frustrations in publications devoted to architecture: the limitation of illustrations to one or two general views of a building. Instead, she focuses on a handful of buildings from each region and provides generous interior as well as exterior views and artfully chosen details from the building's decorative programs. Also noteworthy is her effort to include religious as well as civic and commercial examples of the style. The result is a perceptive and visually rewarding documentation of the subject, beautifully produced. Endnotes. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. D. P. Doordan University of Notre Dame