1920's ArtBy: Nick Martinez & Christian HernandezChristian
Art Deco represented the rapid modernization of the world. While the style was already widespread and was in fashion in the United States and in Europe, the term Art Deco was not known. Modernistic or the "1925 Style" was used. The name Art Deco was derived from the 1925 "Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratis Industries were held in Paris.

Art Deco was primarily an elegant design style dominant in decorative art, fashion, jewelry, textiles, furniture design, interior decoration, and architecture. It began as the Modernist follow-up style on Art Nouveau but more simplified and closer to mass production.

Different types of wood and precious metals, tortoise shell, lacquer, egg shell, shagreen, leather, a cross-fertilization of styles either imported from colonial empires and the Orient or borrowed from art history, all were the characteristic signs of this exceptional craftsmanship aimed primarily at a rich international clientele. It was an updated look based on very classical forms. It was a style "at once traditional and innovative". (Bayer) The main elements of Art Deco architecture were its nonstructural decorative elements and its focus on modernity. It is characterized by the use of crisp, symmetrical geometric forms. The style is reminiscent of the precision art movement, which developed at about the same time.

Well-established artists at the time were painter Tamara de Lempicka, a jeweler and glassmaker, Rene Lalique, fashion illustrator Erte and graphic designer Adolphe Mouron(Cassandre). New York skyscrapers The Chrysler building and Empire State Building were examples of 1930s-era of Art Deco style in architecture. The latter, designed by architect William Van Alen, is considered to be one of the world's great Art Deco buildings.

Art Deco was the showcase of a modern society in which tastes and styles were becoming international, shared as much by the key players of the Roaring Twenties in the United States as by the gentry of Old Europe. With its sense of modernity and its simple, elegant style, it has proven itself through its longevity.

The art in the 1920's reflects the time period because many of the paintings have Black Americans in them. This reflects the time period because in the 1920's, blacks were finally beginning to be treated as equals towards white people. Aaron Douglas, whose association with leading Black writers and whose illustrations for their works established him as the "official" artist of the Renaissance, and James Van Der Zee, whose photographs documented the world of 1920's Harlem, are inextricably linked to the era.

Meta Fuller had already produced many of her finest sculptures and strongest statements well before the Renaissance, and Palmer Hayden and William H. Johnson would not full artistic maturity until the 1930's. Yet, the Renaissance was undoubtedly their aesthetic matrix. It was through the exhibitions of The Harmon Foundation, a major patron of Harlem Renaissance artists, that their work was first introduced to a national audience.

Moreover, they were true Harlem Renaissance artists in spirits. Each developed a vital aspect of the Renaissance ethos--be it glorification of the Black American's African heritage, the tradition of Black folklore, or interest in the details of Black life. Each broke dramatically with earlier Black art and earlier representations of Black on art.

They were among the first Americans to celebrate Black history and culture and they were the first artists to define a visual vocabulary for Black Americans. Harlem Renaissance, therefore, brings together artists who represented the dominant themes of that age in their work. By examining their entire careers, the exhibition also demonstrates the way in which Renaissance ideals shaped the art of these pioneers and the tradition they established for Black American art.

References: Book: Harlem Renaissance: Art Of Black America Pg. 13 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGZh9VUllVs

There are two art movements, Surrealism and Art Deco had their genesis during the 1920's. Photography was a recognized art form but advertising still mostly relied on artists and illustrators to produce the high quality black-white and color advertisements that are sought after by collectors today.

The Surrealism movement began in post-World War I European avant-garde literary and art circles, and many early Surrealists were involved with the earlier Dada movement.

The Surrealists developed techniques such as automatic drawing (developed by André Masson), automatic painting, decalcomania, frottage, fumage, grattage, and parsemage that became significant parts of Surrealist practice.

Art Deco was a movement in decorative arts that also affected architecture. It derived its name from the World's fair held in Paris in 1925, which showcased French luxury goods. Art Deco did not begin with the Exposition; it was a major style in Europe from the early 1920s, though it did not catch on in the U.S. until about 1928.

Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, inlaid wood, sharkskin, and zebraskin. The bold use of zigzag and stepped forms, and sweeping curves, chevron patterns, and the sunburst motif.

References: http://www.1920-30.com/art/

Although he performed most of his work before the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz had a perfound effect on photography and painting during the decade. As the publisher of two photography periodicals, he helped raise photography from a scientific curiosity to an art. He was also one of the strongest promoters of pictorial photography.
In his 291 Fifth Avenue studios, Stieglitz also helped develop a circle of artist (whom became known as the Stieglitz Group) who followed Cubism and German Expansionsim. These artists combined their skill in European painting with landscape and non-objective art to push the beginnings of modern art.

Thomas Hart Benton is best known for his advancement of the regionalist style. Along with John Steuart Curry, he produced works with themes of small towns and rural America. Even though Benton seems to have held on to some Expressionist roots by using a few off colors and extended curves, his work still demonstrates the movement towards realism during the 1920's. He also painted murals in many parts of the United States, including a masterpiece called Modern America in New York City.

Charles Sheeler was born in Philadelphia in 1883 and studied in the School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadlphia. Although he supported himself at that time as an architectural photographer, he dabled in vernacular art and architecture during the weeekends.
During the 1920s, Sheeler was associated with a group of painters called the Precisionists, known for their realistic style of painting. Sheeler focused strongly on industrial subjects and was a distinguished photographer of machines; surprising based on the fact that the subject was rather unpopular between the wars.
In painting Upper Deck (a portrait of the USS Majestic) during 1928, Sheeler perfected a method of acheving photogrphic quality with paint. Accuracy in painting would continue to be his mark, as seen in Steam Turbine. He also transfered his exacteness to abstract art.

Resources: http://www.angelfire.com/co/pscst/art.html