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            Essential Art Deco
            Ghislaine Wood
            non-fiction (art)
            Reviewed by: Carrie Byrd
            Review posted: 2/27/04

            Art Deco comes in a close second to Art Nouveau in my favorite artistic styles and periods, and was, in fact, heavily influenced by the Nouveau style. Essential Art Deco is a quick trip through the Art Deco era, looking at the style’s influence on art, fashion and architecture.

            This is a short book, with more photos than text, and that is to its credit. The glossy pages reflect the way Art Deco crept into every aspect of life at the time, and drew its influences from every corner of the world. As well, it can be said to have influenced every corner, as illustrated by the inclusion of Art Deco pieces from many different countries.

            Although the book’s focus is on the illustrations, the text that is included is well written and interesting, and the author is clearly knowledgeable about his topic. Rather than being dry and boring as so many art books often are (and that’s a pity) this is a fun read, peppered with interesting quotes. This is a slim volume, a mere 96 pages, but author Ghislaine Wood makes good use of the space.

            This is an excellent book for people who are just learning about Art Deco. It is an fascinating guide into the style and the society that embraced and supported it. More learned Art Deco scholars may not learn anything new, but they can certainly enjoy this comprehensive volume.