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Synopsis

This book argues that mobility is the central theme of the interwar mode of design known today as Art Deco. It is present on the very surfaces of Art Deco objects and architecture – in iconography and general formal qualities (whether the zigzag rectilinear forms ­popular in the 1920s or curvilinear streamlining of the 1930s). By focussing on mobility as a means of tying the seemingly disparate qualities of Art Deco together, Michael Windover shows how the surface-level expressions correspond as well with underpinning systems of mobility, including those associated with migration, transportation, commodity exchange, capital, and communication.Journeying across the globe – from a skyscraper in ­Vancouver, B.C., to a department store in Los Angeles, and from super-cinemas in Bombay (Mumbai) to radio cabinets in Canadian living rooms – this richly illustrated book examines the reach of Art Deco as it affected public ­cultures. Windover’s innovative perspective exposes some of the socio-­political consequences of this “mode of mobility” and offers some reasons as to how and why Art Deco was incorporated into everyday lifestyles around the world.

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