Thursday, 29 May 2008

The Jazz Age: Gowns, Tuxedos, And Chinese Art Deco Carpets

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2008 -- One of the most elegant times in America was the Jazz Age of the 1920s and 30s.

It was a time when, after the horrors of World War I, there was a taste for extravagant clothes and debonair film stars. Long silk gowns, men in 'smoking' attire and, on living room and bedroom floors, not antique Turkish and Persian carpets but – surprisingly – newly made Chinese ones.

Why Chinese? The answer is the strange story of the 'Chinese Art Deco' rugs. They were carpets that perfectly fit the spirit of their time and today still evoke that time and no other. But they came about almost by accident.

One of those accidents was the fact that World War I badly disrupted the usual Mideastern trade links for luxury carpets from Turkey and Iran. Another was that people wanted a break from the past in the design of virtually everything, from buildings to furniture to fabrics.

These opportunities were recognized by American entrepreneurs working in Tianjin, China. The port city, south of Beijing, was a major center in the international wool trade and until the 1900s had no history of rug manufacturing. But the expatriate U.S. traders soon turned it into one of China’s biggest weaving areas as they filled the vacuum in the American market, first with traditional Chinese carpets and then with more and more Western-looking variations of the originals.

Here is an example of a Chinese art deco carpet. The carpet is available to collectors from the Nazmiyal Collection in New York.

The most successful design that emerged was something that perfectly fit the Art Deco style of the day. The carpets so complimented what was going on in the West that they became known as Chinese Art Deco even though there was no Art Deco movement in China itself.

One American entrepreneur’s name in particular is associated with the rugs: Walter Nichols.

He produced so many of them in Tianjin that Chinese Art Deco rugs are also known generically as ‘Nichols’ rugs. But it has long been debated whether he and other American producers actually designed the carpets or whether the Chinese artists which they employed did so.

Elizabeth Bogen, one of the few rug scholars who has studied Tianjin rugs closely, believes it was the Chinese artists.

She finds her evidence in the fact that while the rugs were made for the American market – where Art Deco was characterized by industrial-looking, streamlined forms – great numbers of the Chinese weavings are effusively curvilinear and floral. And those curvilinear patterns seem much less inspired by what was happening in America than by the more naturalist-looking Art Deco tradition in France, half-a-world away.

So how to explain the contradiction in styles? Bogen observes that by the 1920s there were Chinese students who had studied art in many major art schools in Japan and Europe and were familiar with international trends.

In Paris, particularly, they found Western art was being heavily influenced by “Japonisme,” or a fascination with Japan’s styles. If these students later became artists for the Chinese Art Deco rugs, it might explain what Bogen calls the rugs’ “exuberant experimentation with Chinese, Japanese, and European design styles and pallets.”

Bogen made these suggestions in her article “What the Wool Trade Wrought,” which appeared in the September-October 2001 issue of Hali Magazine.

The design origins of the Chinese Art Deco rugs may never be fully known. But the whole story leads to some interesting speculation about how Eastern designs get modified for Western tastes and whether the results are in fact Eastern or Western creations.

Bogen argues that the Tianjin rugs were not just the result of an interplay of market forces but also of “contemporary currents in Western art – currents that in turn were heavily influenced by exposure to the arts of Japan and China.”

Put in other words, this is a reminder that the greatest tradition in art, even in the most traditional arts, is to freely borrow ideas across borders. To try to classify art – and particularly the contemporary art of any period – as belonging to one region or another is to miss the excitement of how art reflects a universal human experience as much as it does a local one.

#

RETURN TO HOME PAGE


#

Related Links

Elizabeth Bogen:

Elizabeth Bogen: What The Wool Trade Wrought

Elizabeth Bogen: "In Search of Walter Nichols"

Chinese Art Deco Rug Galleries:

Absolute Rugs

Cyber Rugs

SpongoBongo

Art Deco:

Art Deco Society of Washington, D.C.

ArtLex Visual Dictionary

9 comments:

Lolly said...

I have 3 Nichols Art Deco Rugs that have been in my family since the early 1900's.
I just recently found out they are Nichols rugs! I always knew they were special, but wasn't sure just how special!
I am interested in selling these rugs. Any advice for me?
Thanks, Laurel

Research Paper Help said...

Fish, such as carp, goldfish, or catfish are often depicted in Chinese art. Generally fish are a symbol of wealth, but the carp is most often used

lionelmessi10 said...

obat kanker payudara stadium 3 kanker serviks obat kanker serviks obat herbal kanker

wasirdenature said...

kemaluan keluar cairan nanahmengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar cairan nanah mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kemaluan pria yang keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan nanah keluar dari kemaluan kencing perih dan keluar cairan nanah cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

lionelmessi10 said...

kemaluan keluar cairan nanahmengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar cairan nanah mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kemaluan pria yang keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan nanah keluar dari kemaluan kencing perih dan keluar cairan nanah cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

ahmad najib said...

kemaluan keluar cairan nanahmengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah mengapa kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar cairan nanah mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kemaluan keluar cairan nanah pada pria mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kelamin keluar nanah mengobati kemaluan pria yang keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan nanah keluar dari kemaluan kencing perih dan keluar cairan nanah cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

Hua Cai said...

pandora jewelry, http://www.pandorajewelryoutlet.us.com/
canada goose outlet, http://www.canadagoose.us.org/
ralph lauren outlet, http://www.ralphlaurenoutlet.in.net/
longchamp outlet, http://www.longchampoutlet.name/
louis vuitton handbags, http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsoutlet.co.uk/
roshe run, http://www.rosherunshoessale.com/
wellensteyn jackets, http://www.barbour.us.com/
air max 2015, http://www.airmax2015.in.net/
belstaff jackets, http://www.moncleroutletstore.us.com/
ray ban sunglasses, http://www.ray-bansunglasses.eu.com/
prada outlet, http://www.pradaoutlet.us/
mulberry outlet, http://mulberryoutlet.outlet-store.co.uk/
nike huarache, http://www.nike-airhuarache.co.uk/
mulberry outlet, http://www.mulberryoutlet.com.co/
air max 2014, http://www.airmax2014.net/
ugg outlet, http://www.snowboots.us.com/
ralph lauren uk, http://www.ralphlauren-outletonline.co.uk/
ugg australia, http://www.uggoutlet.in.net/
replica watches, http://www.replicawatchesforsale.us.com/
true religion jeans, http://www.truereligionjean.in.net/
air jordan 11, http://www.airjordan11.net/
tiffany and co jewelry, http://www.tiffanyandco.in.net/
ray ban, http://www.occhiali-rayban.it/
tory burch outlet, http://www.toryburchoutletonline.in.net/
2051014caihuali

Melisa Marzett said...

I am glad that you have mentioned a few examples of a Chinese art deco carpets in this artile! They re really nice! Our professional and experienced top sites will be always ready to supply you with well-written and thoroughly-checked papers!

Fangyaya said...

air jordans
nike roshe runs
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
adidas stan smith
adidas outlet
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
oakley vault
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
longchamp bags
louis vuitton outlet
jordans for sale
tods outlet
oakley sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
nike uk
louis vuitton handbags
gucci handbags
ray bans
nike factory outlet
adidas trainers
gucci handbags
coach factory outlet
timberland boots
louis vuitton bags
michael kors handbags
nike basketball shoes
longchamp handbags
adidas shoes
adidas shoes
kate spade
adidas superstar
ghd hair straighteners
kate spade
oakley sunglasses
20167.21chenjinyan