Art with Amruta.. Art Deco

Hi all!Art Deco ! Art Deco! One hears it all the time…. ‘Art Deco!’

What the heck is this Art Deco???

Don’t ask me … ask Amruta … she’s the one who says ‘THIS is Art Deco’.. ‘THAT is Art Deco ‘
Is everything ArT Deco, Amruta ???!

 Well in a way …..Yes Twinny!Art Deco is Pretty much omnipresent …!!

Swing back to 1919…..

World War 1 had just ended… 

Who was in the mood for art??!

People wanted ‘functional things’….’modern’ things… 

Made of new age materials.. steel – aluminium -glass – stucco for construction ..wood and metal for furniture ..

The major look was…well…

GEOMETRIC …triangles/ trapezoids… repetition of shapes ,flowing curves, arches , chevron patterns….Art with use of brush and paint was a bit relegated to the background ….

Plenty of zigzags / ziggurats!

It was the age of machinery, Radio

Of motor cars , of skyscrapers….

Of aviation…

 And as the Europeans and the US got more and more comfortable  in the Roaring 20’s ….To these geometric designs were added elements inspired from the past …digging up history … using Egyptian sphinxes and Aztec art ….Inspirations from the East like lotuses, Native figures from Africa …
Sometimes precious inlaid work with  ivory , sharkskin , lacquer was added….

So all in all an  ALCHEMISTS  mix..

Of modern functional design.. ….decorated with objects from another era….ART DECO or MODERN DECORATIVE ART was born…!

 Art Deco was. First given this name in a Paris exposition in 1925!
Designs from all over the world displayed…

Have a look at some famous Art Deco buildings…

The Chrysler building of New York 

The inside of Radio City Music Hall New York …

In Havana… Cuba .. the famous Bacardi building ….

And in Melbourne..

Art Deco in the London Underground…

Art Deco spread like wild fire all over the world .. communications having improved so much……Majorly popular between the two world wars.. then a slump followed by  a major revival in the 1960s ….

Then again in the 1980s

Have a look at Art Deco in furniture…

  And here is Art Deco in Poster art …

And here is Art Deco in fashion…

And  NOW look at this picture …

 Marine Drive in Mumbai …Right??!


This is a picture of MIAMI…..the worlds CAPITAL of Art Deco!!! Over 200 Art Deco buildings..

This Friday i.e. Tomorrow will be the 

40th Anniversary  Celebration of Art Deco in this city ..,

Have a look…

But why do these pictures  RESEMBLE buildings in Mumbai …???
Well SIMPLY because….

Mumbai is placed SECOND for the most number of Art Deco buildings in the world!!!!

Surprise of surprises .,

Our very own MUMBAI ..!!!

Have a look…!

The Eros theatre ….

The New India Assurance building…

The whole of Marine Drive and more…

Wow!!!How did Art Deco reach Mumbai ?
Post world war.. businesses in Mumbai were flourishing.. the RICH were quickly borrowing from the west .. and building rather lavish  Art Deco buildings to live in.

Also the ROYAL families of princely states made modern homes in the city to entertain their guests.

Added to this STARS of the new and glamorous FILM industry sought to build homes stylish and elegant !

Soon Marine drive, the Oval …became the hub of so called Bombay Art Deco!!

Balustrades/ wrought iron/ balconies/ porticos…you name it…

No wonder then that THIS and THAT is described as Art Deco in Mumbai ..

It’s all over the place !!!

Am off to Liberty Cinema to watch Jolly LLB2!

This simply charming theatre with 2000 seats and circles on the ceiling .. is fully Art Deco!!

Historical .. as constructed in year of our INDEPENDANCE…..1947 

 No rocket science then ….the name Liberty!

With the threat of multiplexes …this amazing cinema hall may well become a relic ..!..
Let’s strive actively to revive these heritage sites!!

Though  Mood  in Mumbai is something like this… 

Let’s TOGETHER respect history !
Let’s paint the peeling walls!

Support , maintain , rejuvenate our buildings!

Long live Bombay Art DECO!

Long live Mumbai !!!


10 thoughts on “Art with Amruta.. Art Deco

  1. Superb article and so so informative and interesting.would love to do a walkathon of the Mumbai Art Deco buildings and next movie at Liberty with a special attention to the Art Deco details.keep posting your artcles


  2. Wow Radhika.
    You have really got into the nitty gritty of Art Deco and put it in a captivating manner.
    Will look at Bombay buildings in a whole new perspective


  3. Wish had teAcher like โ€˜youโ€™ back in life who would have made lessons so simple and attractive that I would have learnt in a moment .
    Amazing info that too in our own yard…… in fact do recognise the Art Deco classics!!!
    Luv your teachings !
    Dil maange more๐ŸŒน


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