Sources and influences

The structure of Art Deco is based on mathematical geometric shapes.[14] It was widely considered to be an eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism, being influenced by a variety of sources. The ability to travel and excavations during this time influenced artists and designers, integrating several elements from countries not their own. Among them were the arts of Africa, as well as historical styles such as Greco-Roman Classicism, and the art of Babylon, Assyria, Ancient Egypt,[14][15] and Aztec Mexico.[3]

Much of this could be attributed to the popular interest in archeology in the 1920s (e.g., the tomb of Tutankhamun, Pompeii, the lost city of Troy, etc.). Art Deco also drew on Machine Age and streamline technologies[16] such as modern aviation, electric lighting, the radio, the ocean liner and the skyscraper for inspiration.[3] Streamline Moderne was the final interwar-period development, which most thoroughly manifests technology and has been rated by some commentators as a separate architectural style.[17]

Terracotta sunburst design in gold behind sky blue and deep blue above the front doors of the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles

Art-deco design influences were expressed in the crystalline and faceted forms of decorative Cubism and Futurism.[18][18] Other popular themes in Art Deco were trapezoidal, zigzagged, geometric, and jumbled shapes,[15][19] which can be seen in many early pieces. Two great examples of these themes and styles are in Detroit, Michigan: the Fisher Building and the Guardian Building

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