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Art Deco Complete: The Definitive Guide to the Decorative Arts of the 1920s and 1930s Hardcover – October 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0810980464 ISBN-10: 0810980460

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810980460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810980464
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.8 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alastair Duncan's work as an officer and consultant at Christie's New York from 1977-1990 has made him a leading authority on Art Deco and Art Nouveau decorative arts. This is his thirty-third book on the decorative arts including Abrams's Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany and American Art Deco. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Still, overall, this is a wonderful book and will provide many hours of enjoyment.
Avotas
His book American Art Deco covers the style in the US where he does include architecture, graphics and commercial products.
Robin Benson
P.S. I had a chance to read only the Abrams edition, and do not know how does it compare to the Thames and Hudson edition.
Roman Kosoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although the book is called Art Deco Complete you should know that the editorial is really focused on the European fine art aspects of this wonderfully exuberant style. It doesn't cover architecture or the way the style was used for commercial products. Having said that I found the book a fascinating overview of Deco. Duncan has written several books on the style and this huge volume probably has much taken from all of these. His book American Art Deco covers the style in the US where he does include architecture, graphics and commercial products.

The book is in two sections, Media and Masters with sections on: Furniture and Interiors; Sculpture; Paintings, Graphics, Posters, Bookbinding; Glass; Ceramics; Lighting; Silver, Metal, Lacquer, Enamel; Jewelry. The second part is an A-Z of Designers, Artists and Manufacturers. The last pages have reasonable bibliography, index and a couple of pages I found useful: a glossary of French technical terms.

Each of the sections in the first part (304 pages) is divided into the leading artists with large photos of their work. In fact the images (over a thousand with most in color) throughout the pages are something, I feel, that lifts the title above many other books on the subject. The four Chiparus figures on 108-109 just jump of the page, similarly the quite stunning bookbinding on 144-145 or the Puiforat clocks on 296 -297 will really hold your attention. The second part design index (212 pages) also has large photos to go with the names. The index does broaden out to include some commercial creative folk like Breuer, Kem, Loewy, Rohde or Russel Wright.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Avotas on April 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Art Deco Complete: The Definitive Guide to the Decorative Arts of the 1920s and 1930s is overflowing with wonderful pictures, and a represents a wealth of accurate digestible knowledge for anyone interested in the period. However the title "Complete" is a misnomer, and book completely omits of exterior architecture. I can't tell you why the author left out some of the most iconic and easily identifiable Art Deco structures worldwide, but the exclusion is a noticeable even to the most casual reader. Still, overall, this is a wonderful book and will provide many hours of enjoyment. 4/5 Stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on February 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I would like to echo the laudatory comments of the other reviewers in respect to this massive tome. The prospective reader will find all they might want to know about the art deco design movement. The thousand or so well chosen color illustrations cover many of the aspects of art deco in excellently reproduced color photographs. There is so much information and a multitude of images that this book cannot be comfortably digested in one sitting.

There are a number of worthwhile publications coveing this subject; "Art Deco 1910-1939" is one of the better efforts. With its expertly written commentary and fantastic images, this encyclopedic volume puts its competitors in the shade. A must buy for all art deco fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roman Kosoy on April 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Art Deco Complete is a gorgeously published book covering multiple aspects of Art Deco development. The illustrations are large, numerous and clear, and supporting text is very informative and relatively concise. The organization is sometimes a little bit confusing, but it is almost inevitable for an encyclopedic text which is trying to be not be too dry.
Effectively, the book consists of two parts: first part is set up in chapters according to the media (ie. furniture, or sculpture, etc) with a relatively short introductory text per chapter, followed by more detailed information focusing on the best known, and most spectacular, artists working in that area. Second section is a more encyclopedic section with listing, and short description and some illustrations, of other people of significance in the area of Art Deco. This book is not the MOST complete list of all artists and their work as relevant to Art Deco field, but that is where books focusing specifically on Art Deco Furniture, Art Deco jewelry, Art Deco Jewelry, Art Deco bookbinding, and so on come in to play (Alastair Duncan has authored enough of the specialized books, so the omissions in the Art Deco Complete are not due to his ignorance or bias. This edition is already so heavy - you do need a table to read the book as it is too heavy to hold it any other way for a long time - that adding additional info will have to result in reducing the quality of illustrations, which, to me, are the strongest point of the book.
I have a number of other Art Deco books, by Alastair Duncan and other authors, and this one is the best of them all, both in the informative and inspirational aspects.
P.S. I had a chance to read only the Abrams edition, and do not know how does it compare to the Thames and Hudson edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Macho on December 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice book, I am not a pro on Art Deco, but reading page after page is really inspiring for my work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pepe on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the differente books I have been buying in the last few years about Art Deco, this is the most complete and best ilustrated guide of them. It is a great book, well organized and with an excellente selection of drawings and photos of Art Deco examples. For an Art Deco "freak" like me, this has been quite a nice "big book" on the matter.
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