Art deco museums
Where to see art, artefacts and furniture from the 1920s and 1930s
An entire section of Les Arts Décoratifs is devoted to 1920s and 1930s decorative fashions, following the transition from sinuous art nouveau to the simpler, squarer forms of art déco. For a dazzling example of early '20s décor, head to the mock boudoir of couturier Jeanne Lanvin – a riot of gold and purple silk by designer Armand Albert Rateau (1882-1938). The bathroom is just as breathtaking, lined with bronze and marble, with a stucco hunting scene (behind the bath) and geometric black and white floor tiles.
This monumental 1930s building, housing the city's modern art collection, is strong on the cubists, fauves, the Delaunays, Rouault and Ecole de Paris artists Soutine and van Dongen. The largest piece of 1930s art on display is Raoul Dufy’s 624-square-metre oil 'La Fée Eléctrique' – a behemoth of a painting, covering an entire room, created between 1936 and 1937 for Paris’s World Fair. Its gargantuan proportions depict colourful scenes of daily life during the era. One of the Seine side rooms also contains a wonderful collection of art deco furniture, by classic and modernist designers like Ruhlmann, Printz, Arbus, Chareau and Adnet.