Full STEAM (and STEM) Ahead with The Art Deco Society of NY
By Dr. Merryl Kafka, Ed.D.
What better way to support and enhance science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) than to dive into the rich and beautiful history of Art Deco!
Art Deco, a decorative style characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish decorative details, flourished internationally during the 1920’s and 30’s, although early origins may have had its roots in the ancient Egyptian tombs of King Tut. The dominant movement, however, originated in France just before WW1, and the term Deco can apply to just about anything - - - jewelry, cars, cookware, planes, trains, clocks, jukeboxes, furniture, radios, clothing, and buildings. The unique style was punctuated by the age of rapid industrialization, hence the strong sense of the machine age and technology in many of its themes.
Emblematic of its commitment to education, the Art Deco Society of NY developed curriculum and lesson plans, called “Documenting Deco” on its website
(ArtDeco.org, “learn” tab) that will escort both teachers and students into the rich art deco history and provide visually exciting images of videos and photographs, along with an interactive map and art deco building registry in NYC. Navigating through this instructional program will help students define and identify buildings, explore neighborhoods to include new entries for the registery, learn the vocabulary of art deco lingo, and view presentations for a comprehensive education, including the policy and importance of the Landmarks Preservation Law.
Documenting Deco will encourage students to apply, analyze, and evaluate the information presented, while learning about and appreciating our rich architectural heritage. This Art Deco curriculum infuses the arts and the STEM sciences, as well as career awareness, in introducing students to the world of deco design. Art Deco can provide many curriculum extensions including international understanding of other cultures; industrial and decorative arts, math and model making, and walking tours to explore the architectural resources of New York City. Every borough has art deco treasures and the program encourages students to take pride and to value their own neighborhoods.
The Art Deco Society of NY, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to education and preserving and protecting New York’s art deco masterpieces. Activities include school outreach, lectures, walking tours, film series, book events, day trips, and social events, such as the Prohibition Era Cocktail Party, and advocacy for landmark status
Please visit the website for upcoming events, membership information, and to learn more about classroom programs: ArtDeco.org
Roberta Nusim, President, and Meghan Weatherby, Director of Operations. 212 679-DECO #