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Sunday, August 7, 2016


I’ve always loved Art Deco in architecture, home furnishings and jewelry and knew of three buildings here in my city, that are of that style. Imagine my surprise to find eight more and the photos keep piling up!

By the way this font is “Broadway” and it may be a little hard to read so I’ll switch to a more readable font. Art Deco looks great when it’s large or on a building.

Now this font is much easier to read for both you and me hopefully. And if the Art Deco font didn’t show up above, forgive me.

Wherever you may live, Art Deco elements may be there for they were borrowed from many cultures such as Egyptian, Greek, Aztec and many more. From reading about how this art wave began to seeing it here in my town is pretty amazing. It started in 1920 and by the end of the 40’s seemed to dissipate leaving us with Deco influenced buildings, furniture, light fixtures, jewelry and on and on.

The good thing is that there is a resurgence of Art Deco for although considered “flamboyant and too decorative,” the lines and shapes are unique and back in style.

What do you look for when researching Art Deco? You look for curves on buildings, lines going upward, stacks of three in layers on a foundation or an item, chevron shapes and there are many online sources for examples of this art form. Probably the best known Art Deco building is The Empire State Building in New York: Google it and you’ll see the fabulous downstairs doors, the shape of the building and designs.

Just the other day Turner Classic Movies showed the old movie “King Kong” and in it at the end, as you may know, is King Kong on top of the Empire State Building clinging onto the female actress Fay Wray. I didn’t watch this movie as I’ve seen it time and time again but there are times when I want to see it.

As a former elementary teacher, every year I taught a Native America unit and taught the symbols that were used by them for at that time they only had three way of communicating: Drawing symbols, smoke signals or doing gestures. Yes, they spoke in their own tribal language but each tribe had a different one making it hard for other Native Americans to understand words at all. And none of those languages were written down until much later when someone decided to challenge it and do just that but it was in his language.

The reason I mentioned Native Americans above is that they  used
 the chevron shape in their symbols—a shape that is dominant in Art Deco. Although I became very familiar with this shape as teaching the symbols year after year became ingrained in me, it wasn’t until I read Dan Brown’s book “The DaVinci Code,” that once again there were those chevron shapes. Amazing I thought.

A chevron shape is a V or sometimes an upside down V. Think of the stripes that an Army serviceman or woman have on their uniforms…and those V’s are in essence Art Deco or maybe I should say Art Deco influenced them.

As of today, I have now located over ten Art Deco buildings in my town alone and know full well that there are more as I seemed to shove this design in the back of my mind until the other day.

You may or may not like Art Deco but should you like it, there are many online resources from the Deco font to architecture to you name it.  As I wrote: “Some people play Pokemon Go while I play Art Deco building search.”  And the latter is a lot easier and more fun—at least it is for me.

See what you can find in your own town wherever you live and look for the Art Deco elements: I’m sure that some if not all will be there in plain sight. And enjoy.

Sherry Hill

©Sherry Hill 2016
All Rights Reserved

*I took the photo above: The two Art Deco vases are mine. They're tall, made of wood and each has a top that comes off of them. Notice the shape in the goldish-tan on each, for it is Art Deco as well as the stack of 3 on the bases.

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