List of Art Deco Architects and Designers

In this article you will be introduced to the four leading designers and architects of the design movement known as 'Art Deco', namely Paul Poiret, Eileen Gray, William van Alen and Raymond Hood.

Paul Poiret
Poiret was born on the 20th of april 1879 in Paris, France. He started his carer as an apprentice to an umbrella maker and there he collected scraps of silk that he fashioned to clothes for his sisters dolls. As he grew up he started drawing and a dozen of his sketches where bought by Madeleine Cheruit, a prominent dressmaker. Poiret continued to sell his drawings, eventually to major Parisian couture houses, until he was hired by Jacques Doucet in 1896.
During the subsequent years he built up his own fashion house, a fashion house that while famous during the early 1900, went bankrupt after the first world war due to the new designs of the day that where cheaper and of equal or greater quality. Today he is best known for freeing women from corsets with his approach to dressmaking centred on draping.

Eileen Gray
On the 9th of August 1878 Eileen Gray where born, the youngest of five children she quickly developed into a budding artist under her painter father's tutelage. During 1898 Gray attended the Slade school of Fine Art where she attended painting classes. During the early 1900 she moved in and around Paris, where she befriended a japanese lacquer worker, Seizo Sugawara, who taught her the basics of lacquer work, however it was not until 1913 that she exhibited any of her work. When she did it was meet with success. She later moved over to furniture and architecture.

William van Alen
William Van Alen was born in the 10th of August in 1883, in Brooklyn, New York. After he was awarded the Paris Prize scholarship in 1908, a  scholarship that allowed him to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he returned to New York where he formed a partnership with Craig Severance that grew strained over time and dissolved. The two architects thereafter found themselves engaged in designing buildings that were heralded in the press to become the tallest buildings in the world: Severance, the Manhattan Trust Building 40 Wall Street and Van Alen, the Chrysler Building. 

Raymond Hood
Raymond Hood was born on the 29th of March in 1881 in Pawtucket, Rhose Island. He studied at the Brown university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and École des Beaux Art in Paris. His breakthrough came when he started his own firm, Hood and Fouilhoux and they won the contract for the  Chicago Tribune Tower in 1924 due to there neo gothic design, a design that won over some of the most famous architects of there time. In the 1930's Hood had abandoned his neo gothic ar deco style and moved over to a cleaner modernistic style, however he remains as one of the most famous Art Deco architects.