Terminology is an important aspect of art and antiques. The art historical movements known as the Art Nouveau (circa 1889-1900) and the Art Deco (circa 1925-36) are often incorrectly interchanged and used as if they were the same art movement. While the two movements come to characterize the popular art forms and styles of the early 1900s, they are decidedly different art movements and the artists who make them great are as different at apples and oranges.
What to Look For
The Art Nouveau is an art movement characterized by sinuous lines based on natural forms like plants, insects, and flowers. Some of the most famous examples of works of art and architecture from the art nouveau period includes the architecture of the Paris metro stations, Antonio Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona Spain like the Casa Mila and Casa Battlo as well as the world famous stained glass lamps and windows of American studio art designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. If you have something that is marked L. T. C. or Tiffany with an alphabet letter on it, you may have a Art Nouveau treasure.
In sharp contrast to the curved lines and organic forms of the Art Nouveau, the movement known as the Art Deco is much different and quite striking in its appeal. The Art Deco is based on the tenets and look consistent with a streamline, highly geometric design style and motif. Art Deco is typically associated with the high style designs of master jeweler, Cartier and New York City landmarks such as the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Art Deco color schemes are typically black and white or black and silver or gold and black with many of the best known Art Deco works coming in the form of sculptures and architectural items. If you have a piece that has more geometric or machine-inspired forms, then you have an Art Deco piece.
Request an online appraisal of your Art Nouveau piece or your Art Deco piece from Dr. Lori.