Collecting French Art Deco

Collecting French Art Deco


When: Monday, February 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Where: 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075


About the Event:

Join ADSNY for a magical evening in the stunning Stanford White-designed, Payne Whitney Mansion, now, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, for an engaging illustrated talk by acclaimed authority on Art Deco decorative arts and design, Alastair Duncan.

In his presentation, Duncan will:

  • Provide the historical context of how and where the Art Deco style emerged prior to the Great War
  • Explore the innovative works of the style’s pioneer designers
  • Delve into the style’s earliest collectors and patrons––most of whom are now celebrated designers from the 1920s and 30s French fashion industry––such as Jacques Doucet, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Suzanne Talbot, and Agnes Rittener, to name a few
  • Offer a unique glimpse into the stunning collections of patrons listed above as well as the collections of the foremost foreign collectors, which included wealthy families in the United States, Spain, and India.

This richly illustrated talk will also explore how the Art Deco style fell out of fashionability following World War II and its re-discovery in the late 1960s. In addition to exploring the collections of the style’s 1920s and 30s patrons, Duncan will explain how the style’s second generation of collectors emerged in the second half of the twentieth century––again dominated by icons of the fashion industry––including Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.

To conclude this presentation, Duncan will discuss how other major collections of Art Deco were amassed, two of which reached the marketplace at auction in Paris in 2006 and 2011 respectively to great acclaim. These stunning collections were followed shortly thereafter by the sale of a major New York collection and the creation of the first museum collection devoted entirely to the Deco style in Portugal.

This special event, with its unique look into the prestigious collections of iconic Art Deco decorative arts and design, is sure to fill quickly.

Wine reception and book signing to follow.

About the Speaker:

Alastair Duncan is a highly regarded authority on Art Deco decorative arts and design. For fourteen years, he was associated with Christie’s in New York, latterly as a consultant. After joining the auction house in 1977, he organized and catalogued a great number of sales devoted to Art Nouveau and Art Deco and nineteenth-century decorative arts. He has acted as guest curator for exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and is now an independent consultant specializing in the decorative arts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a collection advisor and the author of many books, including Art Deco Furniture: The French DesignersAmerican Art DecoArt Deco Sculpture, and, of course, Art Deco Complete: The Definitive Guide to the Decorative Arts of the 1920s and 1930s.



To take advantage of our discounted member rate, your ADSNY membership must be valid the date of the event. If your membership expires between the time of event registration and the date of the event, you will be asked to renew your membership or pay the additional fee at the non-member price.

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Members: $35.00
Jazz Age Order Members: $25.00
Non-Members: $50.00

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