Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco — What’s the Difference?

arts and crafts 2 pageWhat exactly is the difference between the Arts & Crafts movement, Art Nouveau and the Art Deco movement?  It’s a combination of technique and shape.

At the end of the 19th century engineering and design merged to create wicked curves.  Blame the advancements of the railways, but curves lent themselves to the depiction of exotic shapes from nature, hence the new, organic feel.  Art Nouveau artists began to bend metal and glass into strange, new shapes.

Arts and Crafts designers reacted against these influences of the industrial revolution, insisting on hand techniques rather than assembly lines. Their work sought to keep alive centuries of tradition falling by the wayside in the industrial rush to produce goods faster and cheaper.

Art Deco, occurring after the first World War, turned back to machinery and industrial production against the hand craftsmanship of the Arts and Crafts movement.  Additionally, geometric patterns and rectilinear themes became paramount over the curves in the Art Nouveau movement.  Now it was no longer about the curve but about sky scrapers and automobile roads and advancements in electricity.

Because of the hand-carved and stamped images in this work, the example design here is clearly arts and crafts.


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