Jazz Age Design
‘As I walk in the streets I see ideas for jewellery everywhere, the wheels, the cars, the machinery of today …’ – Raymond Templier, the Architect of the Jewel, 1930
As the world’s leading museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection comprises over 4,5 million objects and is truly all-encompassing. With 145 galleries located in a sprawling building, the V&A, as the museum is more commonly known, can be tricky to navigate at the best of times but that’s where, for fans of Jazz Age design, my new ‘Art Deco in the V&A’ tour is ready to step into the neon-bathed limelight!
From Clarice Cliff’s bold ceramic patterns and shapes to Egyptian-inspired fashion accessories celebrating ‘King Tut’ mania, Art Deco design has never shied away from modern materials or strong geometrical lines. Understatement is certainly not a word which can ever be associated with this distinctive and striking decorative style. Flourishing during the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco design quickly captured the eyes and ears of the whole wide world. Synonymous with the Machine Age and Modernity, this new medium embraced the demands of the people for severe functionality and sophisticated glamour.
Using the V&A’s vast collection of exhibits as a lavish backdrop for our museum exploration, we will not only trace the origins of Art Deco design but also have a look at the movement’s best expressions via the medium of ceramics, glass, sculpture, jewellery and fashion. Highlights of the tour include a large ceramic frieze depicting the history of pottery throughout the ages, stunning bijous crafted by the ‘Architect of the Jewel’ as well as a bronze relief and silver fire basket associated with a scandalous ménage à trois that set the tongues of society on fire during the Roaring Twenties.
Limited to six spaces this tailored and themed tour offers the opportunity to have a personal experience and engaging conversations.
The meeting point for this tour is inside the foyer of the V&A (see the map below). The closest transport links are Knightsbridge Tube Station (Piccadilly Line) and South Kensington Tube Station (Circle Line, District Line and Piccadilly Line). Lasting about two hours, the tour finishes back inside the foyer of the V&A. (Time permitting, there is also a possibility of going to have a look at a couple of Art Deco buildings outside of the museum.)
The tour costs £12 (regular) / £10 (students and seniors) per person and tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite. All pricings for private solo and group tours are available upon request.