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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 16, 2008
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All About Art Déco
January 16, 2008   
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Art historian Joanna Hübner-Wojciechowska's new book Art Déco is a compendium of the art déco movement, which originated in Europe in the 1920s and later spread to North America and Asia.

This was the last global artistic movement to embrace all aspects of life from fine arts to applied arts, fashion, film, photography, music and dance, the author says. She hopes her book will appeal to collectors, antique dealers, interior decorators, designers and anyone who loves the style of the 1920s and '30s. Art Déco has been published as a guide for collectors and has a wealth of examples of Polish art déco. The book is part of a series on art published by Arkady.

Art Déco illustrates the art déco craftsmanship on display in Poland's antique stores. One chapter has practical advice on where to buy and how to restore period pieces. Another chapter is devoted to contemporary interiors, showing how to decorate in the art déco style, and how to incorporate a piece of art déco furniture into a modern minimalist interior. The chapter is illustrated with examples from homes all over Poland.

Art déco was born out of a movement that sought to revive the craftsmanship of the late 19th-century English Arts & Crafts association. The first items in the style that was to reach its peak between 1918 and 1939 appeared in the early 1900s. Art déco was one of those eclectic styles that drew on classicism, exoticism and the avant-garde of the day, such as cubism and constructivism. Its traces lingered on in the art of the 1950s.

Hübner-Wojciechowska says she began the painstaking task of collecting material and writing the book back in 2001. The idea came from the many clients who visited her store in search of art déco furniture.

It soon became apparent that there were very few publications on the Polish art déco scene and those that were available were translations that devoted little, if any, space to Poland. The art déco market in Poland is maturing although prices still vary considerably. The internet, flea markets and antique stores all have different ideas about what to charge and Warsaw and Cracow are a good deal more expensive than other Polish cities. Items sold at auction command the highest prices. A fully restored chair can set you back zl.800-1,200, an armchair zl.1,500-1,800, and a desk zl.5,000-12,000.

Hübner-Wojciechowska holds a doctorate in art history and is a graduate of the University of Warsaw and the University of the New Sorbonne. She has been running Warsaw's Dynasy Gallery antique store, which specializes in furniture and accessories from the art déco period, since 2001.


Art Déco by Joanna Hübner-Wojciechowska, published by Arkady, 2007, 200 pages., Galeria Dynasy, 00-339 Warszawa, 12 Leszczyńska St, tel./fax (48-22) 826 69 24
e-mail: joanna.hubner@wp.pl
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