Bevis Hillier

Last of the Total Styles

Art Deco 1910-1939

By

V & A Publications 464pp £40 order from our bookshop

FOR REASONS THAT will become clear, this review will inevitably be a bit of an ego trip. This month the Victoria & Albert Museum is putting on a most ambitious exhibition of Art Deco – the decorative art of the 1920s and 1930s. (The organisers stretch back the boundaries of the style to 1910: more on that in a moment.) In 1968 I wrote the first book in English on Art Deco. In 1971 I organised a big exhibition of Art Deco at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: the catalogue was published as a book, The World of Art Deco. And in 1998 – thirty years after my first Deco book – I wrote, with Stephen Escritt, a further book, Art Deco Style; my contribution, headed ‘Art Deco Revisited’, was a retrospect of the adventures I had had in helping to identify, anatomise and popularise the style.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,