Above: "Spirit of Tulsa". Acrylic on canvas by William A. Franklin
We hope you will enjoy browsing this small sampling of our collection of DECOPOLIS Art Deco, Art & Artifacts
Many of the items are on rotating display at our 2 mini-Museum locations!
Click on the links below to explore more of our collections, including in-depth descriptions of the items.
Painting by WPA artist, GUSTAVO OTHELLO CENCI (1897-1982) entitled "Spirit of Peace" DECOPOLIS Tulsa Art Deco Museum Collection
Oil on board, 28.25" X 25.25" Framed size 34.75" X 31.75"
for more about the painting "Spirit of Peace" and the Artist Gustavo Cenci
Above: This stunning painting from 1933, is one our favorites. We have yet to discover anything about the artist, Roy Dennis Fox, and have not found any other examples of his work. This surprises us, as this piece is finely executed with a finesse and flair equal to that of a well practiced artist, and is equal to the Iconic works found on similarly stylized, Vogue Magazine covers of the era.
Gouache* on board. Painted image is 13" X 17"
*Gouache (pronounced "Gwash") is like watercolor paint, except that it is more Opaque, the result of a white pigment or chalk that has been added, making it less transparent. It was often used by illustrators instead of watercolors, as it allowed for more control with creating solid blocks of color, would dry quickly and enable finer details.
Above: Reclining Female Nude Portrait by artist Christopher Lee ClarkClick Here:
Oil on canvas. Signed and dated 1931.
Dimensions: 29 3/4"H × 42 3/4"W (sight), 35 3/4"H × 48 3/4"W (frame)
For more about the artist, Christopher Lee Clark, and to see more examples of his work.
Above: "Locomotive" by artist Alain Levesque
Gouache and Airbrush on board. Signed and dated 1990.
acquisition # 11-24-2022-378.53
Below: These Black Walnut, Skyscraper Bookcases were commissioned as replicas of the Battle Creek Tower in Battle Creek, Michigan by Everett Carr Spelman, Sr. in the early 1930's. Spelman worked for Holabird & Root, architects for the building. He was superintendent of construction and the building's supervisor.
Below: Streamline Art Deco "Jazz Armchair" with original fabric. Circa 1931
Possibly made by "Atlas Bedding Ltd" Canada
Douglas Fairbanks Jr can be seen sitting in a similar chair with the same fabric, in the 1932 film "It's Tough to be Famous" featuring Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Mary Brian.
Dimensions - 32" tall x 33" deep x 25" wide x 16" seat height x 22" x 22" inside seating
Fred Dana Marsh Sculpture, Museum Acquisition 2023
Above: William A. Franklin in Florida picking up the Fred Dana Marsh sculpture for the Tulsa Art Deco Museum. September 2023.
Fred Dana Marsh was born in Chicago, in 1872, and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he learned to paint large scale murals with the artists working on the 1893 Worlds Fair. He moved to Paris in 1895 where the artistic scene during this time was a hotbed of "Avant Garde" experimentation. He soon married and he and his wife, also an artist, made their mark winning numerous awards and accolades. Marsh and his family moved to NY soon after the turn of the century where he found a fascinating subject matter in the towering skyscrapers and bustling industry around him.
“It is my object then to depict the noble side of modern industry,” he wrote in an undated letter, “to emulate the efforts of the real workers, the investors, the engineers, the electricians, the great army of toilers – to express in ‘lofty allegory’ the drama of modern life.”
Marsh's paintings during the early 1900's, of skyscrapers, workers, and industrial settings were not strictly Art Deco, but they did foreshadow those commonly used Art Deco themes.
In 1931 Marsh moved to Ormond Beach, Florida where he built a large Streamline Moderne house along the beach. By this time Marsh had stopped doing commissioned murals, but began doing more sculpture. He decorated his new home, which became known as the "Battleship House" with relief sculptures and in 1948 created a set of Art Deco styled sculptures for the newly rebuilt Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach. In 1955 Marsh created a monumental, 40' tall sclupture of Chief Tomokie in the Tomaka State Park. Over the course of Marsh's long and very successful career, he worked in many artistic styles and mediums, which though he is fairly well known in Florida where he lived, left him without achieving the fame of some of his contemporaries. Or as he himself put it... "Unlike most artists of today, when pressure groups are strong, I seem to have slipped between the inventive, who are super-conscious, and the imaginative, or objective, who furnish the romantic trend of expression.Having subconsciously wobbled between the two - taking a bit perhaps from one, then another - I have developed no individual or personal style, thereby missing the road to publicity, or identity.All trends and schools excite me and, being commercially free at this stage, I have probably scattered - but hope not wasted - my efforts. At least I can say I have not copied any individual or group as far as I know."
Dana Marsh died on December 20th, 1961.
Max Le Verrier Bronze“Spartiate” (Archer)
Louis Octave Maxime Le Terrier, aka Max Le Verrier, Born in France -1891. Le Verrier was known for being a pioneer in the Parisian Art Deco movement. In 1925, he showed his work at the famous Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industries Modernes in Paris, where he won a gold medal. His work can be found in museum collections around the world including at the Musee d’Orsay in France and the Tulsa Art Deco Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma.
This sculpture, though it looks like bronze, is actually a metal called “Spelter” (the exception being the Bronze bow) which has a patina added onto it, to create the look of a bronze sculpture. The “Spartiate” or Archer sculpture was cast in the 1930’s by Max Le Verrier, in multiple sizes, in both Bronze and Spelter. Though spelter is often considered less valuable than bronze, there are exceptions. Often the spelter version was able to more accurately capture the detail of the original piece. And this particular version of Le Verrier’s Archer is the largest version his studio cast with very few of this size having been made.
NOTE: Thought the artist of this piece is known for his Art Deco style pieces, the style of this figure is not strictly Art Deco. The base is of course, with its simple, bold geometry. However, there are Art Deco "hints" in the figural part of the sculpture. Here the artist has carefully placed the naturalistic figure into a sort of "geometric", Art Deco pose. Notice how the arms are perfectly parallel to the top of the base and ground, and how the cloth also mimics this. See how the one leg juts out almost exactly perpendicular to the line of the other leg and body, even the hair flowing back in lines along with the cloth giving a look of horizontal movement and angularity. The angle of the forehead, nose and front part of the body align. The tip of the elbow, cloth and toes all align at almost exactly the same angle on the other side. This pose was carefully and intentionally staged. The pose, along with the base, together evoke a kind of "look and feel" that was fresh, new and Modern for its time.
Above: "Spartiate" (Archer) sketch in charcoal on parchment, by Max Le Verrier. 1931
We are very fortunate to own the only known sketch by Le Verrier, of his famous Archer statue. It is interesting to note that the figure and base in the sketch are almost exactly the same size as our large statue. Le Verrier likely used this sketch as a reference while sculpting the Archer statue.
Above: Max Le Verrier in his studio with one of his most famous statues titled "Lueur Lumineuse".
Above: Diane The Huntress. Bronze Sculpture mounted on Italian, Portoro Marble by, G. Daverny, Editions "Reveyrolis Paris". Measures 40.5" (103.5cm) long by 18.5" (46.5cm) tall.
Robbins & Myers "Modernistic" fan 1934. This fan was a dramatic departure from any other fan this company produced. It is a showpiece of Geometric, Zig-Zag Art Deco design. Measures 13" in height by 10" in width by 5 1/2" in depth. The fan cage is made of cast aluminum. The base is cast iron. The blades are steel. It has a single speed on/off switch on the base. The underside of the base has a casting number B 72338 A. There is also a brass tag underneath that is marked ROBBINS & MYERS INC SPRINGFIELD OHIO MADE IN USA 110 VOLTS-60 CYCLES LIST NO. 9304 ALTERNATING CURRENT PATENTED NO 92108. The design patent number dates this fan to 1934.
Designed in 1937 by Rene Coulon. This timelessly elegant radiator was deigned by Rene Coulon for the Saint Gobain Glass Company, for the 1937 Worlds Fair in Paris (Exposition Industrielle).
Composed of chrome plated metal placed between glass plates resting on an illuminated glass base 110volts/500wats.
1930's HMV "His Masters Voice" Chrome Electric "Beehive" Heater. Designed in 1934 by: Christian Barman. Manufactured 1938
Designed in 1931, manufactured in 1932. Designer: Raymond Patten.
This rare piece has been called the Holy Grail of Art Deco Toasters. This single slice, tipper -toaster, was designed by Raymond Patton for Edison General Electric and released under the "Hotpoint" name.
Composed of chromium plated metal, bakelite base and handles, and fabric covered chord. Made in Chicago Ill. USA. rated 525 watts.
Pink Art Glass Vase, designed by Pierre d'Avison 1926-28. Titled "The Water Lillies"
Jobling, hand pressed, fire polished, amber glass bowl, circa 1930. This beautiful bowl sports a stylized floral and geometric pattern. Underside is frosted, while the interior is gloss. The mold was likely comissioned and made in France by Frankhauser, a prominent Parisian, art-glass mold-maker. The 1930's recession ended Joblings production of art glass which was considered the highest quality of its kind in England. Jobling was taken over in 1973 by Corning International Corp.
Above: 1939 Delco R-1152, Bakelite Tube Radio. 5 tube, one band AM. Custom finished in a Cobalt Blue and Bronze "Catalin Swirl" finish. 11" X 7" X 5.5"
Above: 1939 Zeenith 5-R-312, Bakelite Tube Radio. Custom finished in a Ruby Red and Bronze "Catalin Swirl" and Black finish.
Above: 1947 Fada 740, AM Band Bakelite Tube Radio. Custom finished in a Turquoise Blue, Green and Silver "Catalin Swirl" finish.
1937 Stromberg-Carlson 225H Radio.
1938 Clinton 615SQ Radio.
An extraordinary and highly impressive Bauhaus, Art Deco clock manufactured in 1920's Germany.
The timepiece features a remarkable use of striped coromandel wood and chrome ornaments. Coromandel, or Calamander (named after the Coromandel Coast in India from where it was exported) is a relative of Ebony, that was unfortunately logged to extinction and is thus very rare and expensive.
The one-of-a-kind design is with its bold square numerals and hands, partially opened body with an integrated chrome sphere and an exceptional arched wooden casing is a striking piece of early Art Deco design. The wind-up clock movement has a coil gong which chimes every half and full hour.
French for "Stencil", Pochoir was a popular, thought time consuming and expensive, form of reproduction during the Jazz Age that was used in high-end magazines, advertisements for luxury items, and as a means for artists like Chagall, Manet and Picasso to more precisely reproduce their art. Pieces would sometimes require dozens and dozens of trained artists working with more than a hundred individual stencils, and pieces could also be finished with hand painted touches. The reproductions often took more time and work than the original art piece being copied!
Art Deco Tins & Product Packaging
Fantastic design on everyday items. We love how these tins, boxes and product packaging can showcase the basic design elements of the Art Deco style! Our goal is to eventually have each piece photographed and scanned, then digitally brought back to its original state, measured, etc. then put in a catalog for future generations. Our reference catalog could even be used to make reproductions for things like movie props!
TYPEWRITER RIBBON TINS
Though we have a variety of ceramic objects, we especially enjoy our collection of Teapots & Jugs, for we love how artists have expressed such an incredible array of creativity with these objects, sometimes to the point "impracticality" turning them into fun and fantastical works of Art Deco sculpture.
Made by Carstons-Uffrecht in Neuhaldensleben, Germany. Design attributed to Hildegard Delius who worked at Carstons-Uffrecht from 1927-1933. The beautiful Art Deco design of this piece shows influences from German Bauhaus and Russian Suprematist movements. The use of a "flow glaze" on the highly geometric piece gives it a wonderfully timeless look, having both ancient and modern (almost otherworldly) features.
Salins Studios France, "Lightning Bolt" Tea Set. Designed by Pierre Casenove circa 1985. Art Deco/Memphis Milano style.
"Sunray" Blue John, jug/vase. Circa Mid 1920's to1930. Blue John pottery is a little known manufacturer, but they created some wonderful, hand painted and "spray decorated" art deco pieces. Blue John Ltd operated on Union Street in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent from 1886, until perhaps the 1960's. The company produced a variety of jugs (UK term for pitcher) teapots, vases, beakers, plaques, etc.
Above: A plate from our collection made for the famous 1925 Paris Exposition "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes" after which Art Deco got its name!
The plate by Johnson Brothers of England features a pattern called "Les Fontaines". Fountains are a commonly found motif in Art Deco works.
Above: An Art Deco Jug. Unknown date and maker.
Over the years we have been fortunate to purchase, or have donated, numerous Tulsa Art Deco artifacts. Some pieces are from buildings that are unfortunately no longer with us, or that were removed during remodels. We also love it when we find old photos and ephemera, from advertisements to booklets, that exhibit the flamboyant and "modern" Art Deco Style and showcase Tulsa's amazing Jazz Age history!
Plaster relief panels purchased from the estate of Bill White (of Bill White Chevrolet in downtown Tulsa). Bill was a collector of Tulsa artifacts and memorabilia. These were said to have come from the Philcade building in downtown Tulsa during an early renovation. The designs feature a mixture of classical and Art Deco design motifs.
We purchased these beautiful, Art Deco, cast iron pieces from an estate sale at an old Tulsa mansion. They were purportedly from a downtown Tulsa building. We will continue to research these items to see if we can determine which building they may have come from.
Above: Large, etched glass mirror from the Halliburton Abbott Department Store.
Above: Terracotta pieces from the exterior of the Halliburton Abbott Department Store.
1920's skyline of Tulsa.
Photo circa 1920 taken from the bluffs on the east bank of the Arkansas River near Cleveland Oklahoma (west of Tulsa). Old hwy 99 visible in floodplain in center of photo, headed toward Hominy.
Arkansas River view near Oilton Oklahoma (west of Tulsa)
Woodcuts & Linocuts
Above: Rare Woodcut Proof by Lynd Ward for the novel "Wild Pilgrimage"published in 1932
Sometimes called the Father of The Graphic Novel, Lynd Ward’s striking woodcuts birthed a new dawn in visual storytelling, a storytelling form in which the "reader" needed no alphabet.
Above: Selection of various images from "Wild Pilgrimage"
“Excerpt from an interview with Cartoonist Art Spiegelman, on Lynd Ward”...
All novels require some mental adjustment in order to understand a writer’s meaning. But yes, in Ward’s books you have something that has its own operating system. This requires slowing down to understand it. Come at it from one angle and you’re looking at a bunch of incoherent, unconnected pictures. From another angle you see a very tightly woven narrative that rewards contemplation and a revisiting of how it’s told as well as what’s being told. Each of his books teaches itself. As you’re reading you understand better how to read each book— the speech and rhythms of what one can find as one revisits a picture. As Susan Sontag pointed out in her essay “On Photography,” pictures are scary because until they are actually contained by words their meanings are not containable. The words that describe what’s happening in a news photo actually refocus you to not look. The whole point of Ward’s work is to make you look and understand.
“Wild Pilgrimage” from wikipedia…
“A factory worker leaves his place of work to live a free life. He travels deep into the woods, where he witnesses a lynching. Deeper in the woods, he finds farm work, but it does not last long—when discovered attempting to enact his sexual fantasies on the farmer's wife, the man is forced off the farm. He finds refuge with a hermit, who allows him to stay in his cottage and teaches the man to grow fruits and vegetables. The man educates himself with the hermit's books. He finds himself in a reverie in which he and the hermit battle a slave-owning capitalist. The man returns to his former place of employment and rouses a workers' rebellion. During the fray, he fantasizes that he decapitates his employer's head; when he raises it, he discovers the head to be his own. Awakening from the fantasy, he is felled in the midst of the battle.Freedom and responsibility, individuality and society, and love and death are among the binaries the symbolic work abounds in.
Cartoonist Art Spiegelman comments that Ward had mastered a fluid rhythm of pacing with his third book, achieving a flow that minimized the need for the reader to spend time deciphering images before moving to the next page, while encouraging multiple readings and interpretations. At the same time, Spiegelman writes, the images reward a closer look on rereading.
American Regionalism and other movements influenced Ward's artwork. Ward's images offer a diversity of textures, moods, detail, and composition, and mix in influence from movements such as American Regionalism and Futurism.”
Woodcuts Of New York
Below: A selection of woodcuts from the book titled "Woodcuts of New York" "Pages from a Diary by Hans Alexander Mueller" J.J. Augustin Publisher New York City Copyright 1938.
Back Page.... "This is number 65 of three hundred copies of a special edition printed by the Haddon Craftsmen, Camden New Jersey, and Bound in Leather by George McKibbin & son, Brooklyn New York"
Hand Signed.... Hans A. Mueller
Art Deco Designed Books
A wealth of wonderful Art Deco design can be found in School Yearbooks. The Yearbooks also offer a great opportunity to show when Art Deco design entered the popular culture and how it changed over the years. The yearbooks also show how fashion, humor, social norms, and other social, political and scientific interests changed and were reflected in the art.
1930 TEXAS TECH - "La Ventana"
"Radio Annuals" from the personal library of Milton Berle.