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Deco vs. -n-Crafts: How to tell apart your Arts

by on Dec 12, 2006

Art Deco and the Arts and Crafts movement were quite popular during the early part of the 20th century, with the Arts and Crafts movement lasting from approximately 1890 to 1915, and the Art Deco movement taking the stage from 1910 to 1939.

Both aesthetics are quite relevant to today’s design sensiblity, but you don’t want to confuse the two.

Here are some handy pointers to tell one from the other.

 An art of building made using the craft items.   vs. The entrance of what appears to be a very fancy building.

ART DECO: Modern materials, clean lines, geometric shapes, machine made.

ARTS and CRAFTS:  Traditional materials, fluid lines, biomorphic and natural shapes, shows the mark of the hand-finisher.

DECO: Roots in Cubism, Modernism Art Nouveau 

A&C: Roots in roots


  Paul Manship (I walk by a copy of one of his statues almost every day on my walk through the ‘hood)

Painting of a mansion with garden. Grant Wood See those geometric shapes?

"Eagle shaped head of a Skyscraper" Wiliam Van Alen, designer of the Chrysler Building and its creepy-cool gargoyles.


Old model wooden chair.Gustav Stickley. His handmade furniture is still available!

A painting made of various squares and circles with few of them filled with red and green colors. Frank Lloyd Wright 

Leeeeetle bit of a control freak. Designed everything in the house, down to the toliet paper holders. Just kidding. Any one of his buildings is a marvel of art and design. Living in one, would be like living in a museum. You can’t just put up a velvet painting of dogs playing poker in a house designed by FLW.



IF YOU LIKE DECO: You’d like CB2, West Elm, and The Paris Apartment

IF YOU LIKE ARTS-n-CRAFTS: These companies…, Handmade paper from Paper Source, and this great British website


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