We would definitely not spend the 28th of April 92 years ago at home. Together with a mass of people from Paris we would visit L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes at the same time witnessing the creation of one of the most crucial styles in the history of art.
On the 28th of April 1925 legendary International Exhibition of the Latest Decorative and Industrial Art was opened in Paris.
Although the exhibition in Paris was of international character, most of the exhibitors came from the host country. After the exhibitions organized upon Seine in 1889 (the Eiffel Tower is its remainder) and in 1900 the government of France wanted to demonstrate the continuity of the French domination as regards the field of culture and art. Although 34 countries took part in the exhibition, France ruled the event.
French products representing industrial and decorative art were to amaze and outshine other exhibitors. The list of exhibitors included Japan and Poland but there were no exhibitors from the United States as the organizers decided there were not enough designers designing in modern style. As new inspirations in art and turning back on old styles were the leading concept as regards the exhibition. For the time of Exhibition the entire centre of Paris was changed into a gigantic exhibition area advertising the products of leading producers of that era. It was a symbol of approaching period characterized by adoration of luxury, excess and pleasant life.
Exhibition featured leading French companies, the biggest department stores in Paris and luxurious brands, such as Sèvres, Lalique or Ruhlmann.
Luxury triumphed in the arrangements of French exhibitors looking for modern means of expression, noticeable adoration of oriental excess and precious materials, such as ebony, marble, lacquerware or ivory.
New forms and decorative motifs appeared: sun rays, ziggurat, stylized fountains, garland, baskets with flowers, dancing nymphs and sleek deer. These motifs have been included into art deco repertoire for good. And also “raw” application of ornaments, adoration of balanced composition and inclination to use luxurious materials.
New concepts were soon accepted worldwide and new French style became international.
Exhibition in Paris from 1925 had great influence on modern design. It designated new trends and direction of development. It lasted from April to October and was visited by 50 millions of visitors. It was so important that over forty years later term “ART DéCO” was created to describe the style it initiated.
With time this term started to refer to design of the interwar period.
Text: Marta Kropidłowska