Monday, 14 November 2011

Puttin' on the Glitz

Odeon, Leicester Square

Carreras Cigarette Factory, aka Greater London House

The Moderne style

Daily Express Building

Midland Hotel, Morecambe

Saltdean Lido

Just some of the photos that form part of the Puttin' on the Glitz: The Golden Years of Art Deco Architecture in Britain exhibition currently showing at the magnificent headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in Portland Place, London, that we went to see on Saturday.

RIBA building

From their website:
Enjoy an exhibition that explores Art Deco architecture at its peak during the inter-war years, using vintage photographs from the RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection.

Art Deco was often applied to transient building types such as shops and restaurants, tending to obscure how ubiquitous a style it was. This exhibition seeks to redress the balance by displaying not only Art Deco classics such as Odeon cinemas, but also a host of lesser known buildings such as [opera singer] Conchita Supervia's flat in Lowndes Square, London, and a fish and chip shop in Sunderland.

It certainly is an impressive glimpse of the glamorous and hedonistic world of the 20s and 30s in Britain, where even the most mundane buildings were decorated with chrome, marble and neon details worthy of the most luxurious ocean-going liner.

All the ingenuity, aspiration and creativity of the time is on display here - not merely the buildings themselves but also the innovative photography that captured it. We loved it!

A complementary display, Art Deco Triumphant, is on at the same time in the Architectural Library. This selection is of prints, postcards and ephemera from the exhibition that began it all - the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925, and is equally fascinating.

Both exhibitions are on until 29 November 2011. For more information visit


Please leave a message - I value your comments!