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The Art Deco era was the age of travel and transportation. There was an obsession with speed and travel by train, plane, ocean liner and automobile was a high class, luxury experience!
The luxury ocean liners were the ultimate in Art Deco Transportation and allowed fast, comfortable and luxurious travel across the Atlantic in record time. Governments of various countries vied with each other to produce the fastest, most glamourous liners ever seen. Liners such as the SS Normandie, and the Queen Mary inspired the best poster art in Art Deco style, and we still look back on the 1920s and 30s as the age of style in travel.
The SS Normandie in particular was fitted out by the best in Art Deco designers and artists. Known as the "Ship of light" the SS Normandie contained screens of glass by Lalique, wrought iron by Brandt, murals by Dupas, and even finishings in the new modern material Bakelite.
Art Deco trains were also lavish and luxurious. Beautiful wooden clad
compartments, sleepers with all the modern comforts, restaurant cars to
compete with the best high class hotels, service on the platform with
porters to carry your large collection of matching luggage and hat
boxes! Oh, how things have changed.
The print above is by Brian James, a contemporary artist specialising in automobile art inspired by the Art Deco era.
It was the age of the racing car, with speed records being constantly challenged and broken. Luxury Art Deco automobiles became style classics of the age, and also inspired the artists of the time.
Alexis Kow was a Russian artist, born in 1900 who later moved to Switzerland. He specialised in automotive art and worked for all the major automobile companies. There are some wonderful examples of his work on this page.
An artistic outpouring followed the machine age developments in
transport, with advertising for shipping lines, airlines, railways, and
automobile companies leaving us a legacy of the best design of the 20th
Some of the best Art Deco posters were for the Normandie, L'Atlantique and others by Cassandre, the King of transport and shipping posters.
Edward McKnight Kauffer was very well-known for his wonderful posters for Shell, and London Transport.
Some of the best automobile posters are by Geo
Ham - short for Georges Hamel (1900 - 1972) who produced
the most wonderful stylish posters of racing cars, and other Art Deco
Have a look at the posters in "1920s Cars" too.
Also check out my page on wonderful 1930s Automobiles
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