Throughout the years, there have always been fads that come and go, but art deco does not fit into that category. Art deco appeared as one of the visual arts just before World War l and made its debut in France.
Art deco had a massive influence on all types of mediums from buildings to furniture to jewellery and many different forms of fashion. It wasn’t until the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit that this form of art lost some of its flare and was replaced with more subdued stylings and materials. A newer style emerged that was considered to be aerodynamic and was dubbed Streamline Moderne. Different materials were introduced, such as plastics and stainless steel. The surfaces that now became prominent were smooth and sleek with a polished look to them.
Brisbane and Art Deco History
While some of the art deco styled buildings that once existed in Brisbane no longer exist, there are still a few that have survived.
- McWhirters Building:
This is a building that has held its place in Brisbane since 1938. It was designed by Hall and Phillips and is considered to be worthy of its classification as art deco. This is a building that was intended for retail shoppers of the Protestant faith. Those of the Catholic faith were loyal shoppers to TC Beirne. While the McWhirters building has gone through some changes over time, its actual characteristics of being an art deco building still remain.
- 501 Ann Street:
This building is only recognized by its address and does not hold any specific name. It too is an art deco building erected in 1942. Originally it was the Queensland Brewery Company Headquarters. What gives it the credentials of being an art deco building is its unique design comprised of curves and angles.
These, as well as the other existing art deco buildings in Brisbane, still have some modern-day influence.