Despite its heft, dimensions, elegant design, and lavish color photography, Art Deco Chicago is not an exhibition catalogue, but instead “the companion volume” for a 2018–19 exhibition at the Chicago History Museum. Catalogues often struggle to encompass an entire exhibition within the confines of a book, but Art Deco Chicago far surpasses its related museum show in terms of both range and ambition. While the exhibition focused only on the streamlined period of art deco from the 1930s to the early 1950s, the book explores art deco's origins in European art and design movements at the end of the nineteenth century. The 1920s, a decade of luxurious and often unique art deco works, also figures prominently in the book along with the streamlined period.1

In five essays, prominent scholars of Chicago lay the foundations for the 101 entries in the section that follows, titled “Key 101 Designs.” These entries,...

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