City Hall of Buffalo, New York, an Art Deco building.
Art Deco is an eclectic artistic and design style which had its origins in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century. The style originated in the 1920s and continued to be employed until after World War II. The term "art deco" first saw wide use after an exhibition in 1966, referring to the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes that was the culmination of high-end style moderne in Paris. Led by the best designers in the decorative arts such as fashion, and interior design, Art Deco affected all areas of design throughout the 1920s and 1930s, including architecture and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as painting, the graphic arts and film. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, glamorous, functional and modern.
Art Deco moved away from the soft pastels and organic forms of Art Nouveau and embraced influences from many different styles and movements of the early 20th century, including Neoclassical, Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, and Futurism. Its popularity peaked in Europe during the Roaring Twenties and continued strongly in the US through the 1930s. Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative.
Art Deco experienced a decline in popularity during the late 1930s and early 1940s, but experienced a resurgence in the 1960s with the first book on the subject by Bevis Hillier in 1968 to coincide with the Minneapolis exhibition and continued with the popularization of graphic design in the 1980s. Art Deco had a profound influence on many later artistic movements, such as Memphis and Pop art.
Surviving examples may still be seen in many different locations worldwide, in countries as diverse as China (Shanghai), UK, Spain, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Romania, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Colombia, and the United States (primarily in Miami Beach, Los Angeles, and New York City). Many classic examples still exist in the form of architecture in many major cities. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, both in New York City, are two of the largest and best-known examples of the style.