Friday, January 07, 2011

The Tomb of Tutankhamun and Its Influence on Popular Culture | Socyberty

by MJ Sunderland

In 1922, the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered by the archaeologist Howard Carter. This was a major event in the history of taste and provoked a craze for Egyptian artefacts, which is sometimes known as ‘Egyptomania’ or ‘Tutmania’. The craze affected cinema, fashion, jewellery and architecture. In particular, the exquisite artefacts of Ancient Egypt were among the major influences on the Art Deco style of design.
Art Deco was a glamorous, decadent style that flourished in the 1920s and 30s: it was the style of the Jazz Age. Art Deco emerged in France, but soon spread around the world, and became especially popular in America. It affected all forms of design, including architecture, interior design and fashion. The Art Deco style is instantly recognisable. It was based on angular forms like trapezoids and zigzags, as well as geometric shapes and sunbursts. Art Deco drew its imagery from a wide range of sources, both modern and historical. It was influenced by modern art, but also by the arts of Africa and Ancient Egypt.
France had been interested in Egyptian artefacts since the time of Napoleon, but the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb inspired French designers to incorporate Egyptian imagery into the new style. The solid gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun uses lustrous materials like gold and lapis lazuli, creating a sharp contrast of colour. It has sinister animal forms – the cobra and the vulture. Artefacts like this appealed on an imaginative level. They revived the romantic fascination with Ancient Egypt. This imagery was immediately incorporated into Art Deco design.

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The Tomb of Tutankhamun and Its Influence on Popular Culture | Socyberty

1 comment:

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