Session 2
Movement and Motion - The New Spirit of the Time

With instantaneous communication and ever-faster transportation, the world was rapidly changing between the two World Wars. Technological advances, begun during World War I, resulted in such major inventions as the plane, the car, and the trans-Atlantic steamer. These machines of speed and movement opened up new horizons to all classes of society, and electrified architects and artists. They in turn embodied that modern spirit and energy in the new style of Art Deco.

New French luxury liners functioned as ambassadors of Art Deco and the new French taste, attracting passengers with the latest Parisian fashions. During the crossing, passengers were immersed in a French ‘Way of Life.’ In addition, airplanes made it possible for stars to perform across the globe, reaching new publics, hopping from one capital to another; even cars could now speedily cross borders for week-end jaunts. The new forms of transportation also greatly aided women, whose role and status had drastically changed after World War I. They drove cars, piloted planes, travelled by themselves, and were crucial carriers of the new style. Known as “flappers,” these new women looked different, wore shorter skirts and dresses, worked, smoked cigarettes and used makeup. A real revolution had taken place!