ART DECO SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON
In This Issue:
News & Notes From the DecoPhiles 3
Art Deco Now and Then: The Role of the Media
in its Popularization 5
Deco Discoveries: Deco for the Priests in Brittany 28
Board of Directors
At Large Members:
Silver Spring—Richard Striner
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Join online at
Or call 202-298-1100
And request an
Trans-Lux is published four times a year
by the Art Deco Society of Washington,
P.O. 42722, Washington, D.C. 20015-
2722. Phone (202) 298-1100.
ADSW is a non-profit organization in-
corporated to foster public awareness
and appreciation of the Art Deco period
through volunteer actions to preserve the
era’s decorative, industrial, architectur-
al, and cultural arts.
Book Reviews Editor—Vacant
Barbara Billauer Bailey
Trans-Lux is looking for a few good
writers. Please submit manuscripts
and photographs to Jim Linz, PO
Box 221011, Chantilly, VA 20153.
Please enclose a self-addressed
envelope for return of material. Sub-
mission of letters/articles implies the
right to edit and publish.
On the Cover: Brochure for the
United Fruit Company Steamship
PAGE 3 TRANS-LUX VOLUME 29 NO. 1
News and Notes from the
Expo Reviews Mostly Favourable
Both dealers and customers seemed pleased with the Exposition of 20th
Century Decorative Arts‘ return to the Ernst Community Cultural Center
after a 4-year absence. Dealers generally praised the ease of setup
and breakdown thanks to the greatly expanded loading dock. Many
also commented on the brightness and openness of the Ernst Center com-
pared to the individual rooms and dark corridor at the Dulles Expo Cen-
ter. Strong sales were reported by a number of dealers. Customers
seemed pleased with the openness of the show floor and the selection of
Many positive comments were also received about the first-ever Expo
After Hours Party. Attendees had particular praise for the swing danc-
ers—Joe and Tabitha Robinson—and the musical shorts.
Although reviews of the 2011 Expo were mostly positive, there were a
few problems. The public address system did not work properly, compli-
cating show management‘s efforts to communicate with dealers and cus-
tomers. Providing food service on the mezzanine level proved problem-
atic and was moved to the Atrium for the second day of the show.
The most oft heard complaint, however, had to do with parking charges.
For the first time since the show moved to Northern Virginia, there was a
$1 an hour charge for parking for Saturday customers even though the
school‘s vast parking lots were mostly empty. ADSW will work with
Northern Virginia Community College officials on a solution.
Expo Lost and Found
A camera and clip-on sunglasses were left at the Expo. If you lost either
item, contact Colleen Levow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.758.9771.
Expo Dates Set for 2012, 2013
Although the 2011 Expo was only a month ago, plans are underway for
both 2012 and 2013. The show will remain at the Ernst Center during
the first weekend in June in 2012 and then move to the second weekend
(Continued on page 4)
PAGE 4 TRANS-LUX VOLUME 29 NO. 1
in June in 2013. The switch to the second weekend in June will avoid fu-
ture conflicts with the Reading Air Show. Unfortunately, another group
has already booked the Ernst Center the second weekend in 2012.
Raskin, Cotter Resign
Ira Raskin and David Cotter resigned from the Board following the Expo.
A life-member, Ira served as Expo Chair, Co-Chair, or Deputy Chair for
most of the last 20 years. He also served as Treasurer during a particu-
larly difficult period, transferring that role to Lou Simchowitz last Sum-
David Cotter also made significant contributions to the Society, most re-
cently as Vice President.
Both Ira and David plan to continue their involvement in ADSW programs.
With the departure of Ira and David, the Board has a critical need for
new members. Contact Jim Linz (703-568-3745 or email@example.com) to
Frederick Hodges Returns
San Francisco Society pianist Frederick Hodges returns to Northern Vir-
ginia Sunday, July 24th, for a concert at Jordan Kitts Studio in Merrifield.
The concert, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Ragtime Society, begins
at 2 pm. For details and tickets go to www.nvrs.org. Reservations are
Fly Down to Rio...for the World Congress on Art Deco
Registration for the 11th World Congress on Art Déco, scheduled for Rio
de Janeiro, August 14 - 21, 2011 is open. A pre-Congress program will be
held in São Paulo from August 11 - 13. The 2011 Congress will be the first
in Latin and South America.
For further information check the website for the Instituto Art Déco Brasil—
www.artdecobrasil.com. Questions should be directed to Márcio Alves
Roiter, founder and President of the Instituto Art Déco Brasil. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you plan to attend the World Congress, or are looking for a traveling
companion to share expenses, please send a message to
PAGE 5 TRANS-LUX VOLUME 29 NO. 1
Art Deco Now and Then:
The Role of the Media
in its Popularization
By Barbara Billauer Bailey
A bit of history:
Expos - their effect on culture, the arts and future technology cannot be
underestimated. Indeed most people attribute the popularization of the Art
Deco aesthetic to the 1925 Paris Exposition. The Exposition Internationale
des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Mod-
ern Industrial and Decorative Arts), held in Paris, France from April to Octo-
ber 1925, brought together a host of international avant garde creators
employing a new and modern design aesthetic for the first time. (The term
Art Deco was derived by shortening the words Arts Décoratifs.) 4,000
guests attended the inauguration on April 28, and thousands of visitors
came on each of the following days to watch the inauguration of a new
approach to design. And whether expressed as Bauhaus Modern or French
Deco, these forms translated into new and modern, exemplified by sleek-
ness of line and finesse of form, reducing, if not eliminating, the profusion
of sinuous emollients of the earlier Art Nouveau movement.
While the rudiments of the Art Deco style was conceived more than a dec-
ade earlier, the birthday of the new form was celebrated at this grand
expo. As Waldemar George wrote: ―All that clearly distinguished the old-
er ways of life was rigorously excluded from the exposition of 1925.‖ The
new style that would be showcased would be aggressively modern, taking
its lead from the cutting edges of other arts in expressing the spirit of the
The new form was characterized by a ―streamlined classicism showcasing
facetted, crystalline structures,‖ It‘s embellishments, if you can use the term
in the Art Deco context, consisted of decorative references to sleek machin-
ery, stylized fountains, gazelles, lightning flashes, inspiration from ancient
cultures that relied heavily on geometric lines, such as ―Aztec,‖ or other
reminiscences of ancient influences, such as Egyptian revival, by interpreting
them by incorporating with a repetitive linear form or geometric motifs. The
demise of art nouveau, with its sinuous grace of lines, that of soft folds of
drapes or reminiscent of languid movements of exotic dancers, was appar-
ent. Instead, it was to be replaced by the Cubism of Braque, Gris and Pi-
PAGE 6 TRANS-LUX VOLUME 29 NO. 1
casso, heralding a taste for abrupt angularity, an abruptness smoothed
into a sleekness we now call ―streamlined.‖ The beginnings of futurism also
appeared under the Art Deco rubric; Le Corbusier‘s grand housing plan
replete with 200 foot skyscrapers, along with Austria‘ City in Space by
Frederick Kiesler was introduced.