The Cité de l’Architecture honors art deco and cultural exchanges between France and North America, through a unique exhibition.

Art Deco

A reciprocal emulation

This exhibition, which will take place from October 20, 2022 to March 6, 2023, shows how the French Art Deco style influenced the architecture, decor, lifestyle and taste of North Americans. Popular style, characterized in particular by a work of line, ornamentation, rounded shapes, or even floral motifs, Art Deco traveled from France to North America in a dynamic dialogue carried in particular by the architects. From the last two decades of the 19th century, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris trained around a hundred American and Canadian architects. Coming to find in the French formation the art of composition and ornamentation, this “International Fine Arts” offers the foundations of the exchanges to come between France and North America. Back in America, these architects built and furnished Art Deco buildings in American cities.

Art Deco

More and more French architects building on the American continent

This reciprocal emulation between France and America culminated in 1925 during the International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts. A 104-member American delegation is sent there by the State Department for Commerce to observe this resolutely modern “new style”. At the same time, France entrusted a diplomatic mission to Art Deco, claimed its paternity and ensured its dissemination. The 1920s were thus marked by back and forth : there were more and more French architects building on the American continent (Paul Cret and Jacques Greber in Philadelphia, Jacques Carlu taught at MIT, etc.). Keystone of all the arts, architecture leads to stylistic changes in many professions : painters, sculptors, interior designers, ironworkers, muralists are one with the buildings and accompany this brand new architecture by sublimating it.

A dynamic is broken by the economic crisis of 1929

Following them, fashion, jewelry and tableware were inspired by this new style whose simple and fluid lines contrasted with the previous Art Nouveau period. This dynamic is broken by the economic crisis of 1929, French architects return to France. In 1934, Jacques Carlu was entrusted with the project of the Trocadero Palace and thought about its modernization based on his American memories. The works give birth to a new building, the architect articulates his project around the creation of an esplanade and the breakthrough of a grandiose perspective on the city and the Eiffel Tower, framed by a building with American proportions: art deco crossed the ocean again. With an unprecedented route, focusing on architecture, but also on all of the cultural and artistic life of this teeming period, the Art Deco France-North America exhibition reflects the incessant dialogue of its years. between France and America around the Art Deco style.

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