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Facets of Art Deco: Connecting Jewelry as Design in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Sarah Coffin, Former Senior Curator and Head, Product Design and Decorative Arts Department, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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In the 1920’s, art and design came together.  The Cubist movement helped inspire similar abstractions in design, including jewelry, which featured more colored stones, and angular cuts that related to what is now known as Art Deco design.  The development of jewelry forms was influenced by changes in fashion, that included night-club dresses and sporty daywear enjoyed as new freedoms by modern woman.  At the same time, the interest in the exotic and in industrial design is also acknowledged by high-end jewelry designers.


Purse, c. 1920–30. Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris; Photo: The Cleveland Museum of Art

Brooch, ca 1929 Raymond Yard, New York, NY; Courtesy of Vartanian and Sons, Photo: Matt Flynn, Smithsonian Institution