The Art Deco period wasn't just a time of glitz and glamour. It was a time of big business. Thanks to electrification, transportation, and mass production technologies, business entered the modern era of high consumption and luxury. Capitalist business owners pushed the world into the new era.
The throne of a business executive is their desk, and we have plenty of very beautiful art deco desks in our collection. Let's take a look at a few of them to examine the features.
This is an example of an art deco era partnerdesk designed by Bauhaus. Bauhaus was actually a competing school of design that flourished in Germany at the same time Art Deco was storming through France, but both found their expression in the business arenas in America. While complicated art deco decorations adorned buildings and offices, workspaces tended to be more Bauhaus.
Bauhaus is exemplified by clean geometric shapes, bare surfaces, and lots of clear space, which is perfect for a partnerdesk like this one. While an uncommon arrangement these days, a partnerdesk allows two people to work at the same desk, as seen in the photo. Extra decoration would get in the way of the day-to-day functions of work. Still, this is a very luxurious desk. The top is burled mahogany and the base is black lacquer with chrome highlights and fixtures.
An example of a purely art deco desk is this crescent desk. Unlike the very utilitarian Bauhaus desk above, this desk is almost all curves! While difficult to see in this photo, the color of the desk is a deep moss green.
An executive sitting behind the shorter curve could imagine their presence and power shooting through their desk in the sunburst pattern common in the art deco era. Modern workers might find the desk difficult to use because of the curves but it does project a striking image.
Of course there were also more utilitarian designs as well - like this art deco piece. This single person desk has chrome filigree along the legs and the edges of the table, plus chrome finishings on the doors. The two swing doors are reminiscent of a cocktail cabinet and the interiors hearken back to a time when paper was king and the computer hadn't even been invented yet. Putting this much chrome into something as practical as a desk is just another example of how the Art Deco era tried to put luxury into even the simplest items.