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The Roaring Twenties & Art Deco

The Roaring Twenties was a decade marked by great societal change, progress, and turmoil. During this time, society strove to break tradition and create new “norms” of living. Prohibition, the banning of alcohol sales or consumption, was put into place in 1921. While the government strove to keep alcohol away from the public, thousands of illegal stills were in operation throughout the country. It was a war the government could not win.

Confiscated illegally produced alcohol, ready to be destroyed.

Confiscated illegally produced alcohol, ready to be destroyed.


It was a time of great political change, as women’s rights grew exponentially. In 1919, women in the United States were granted the right to vote and guaranteed that right with the passing of the 19th Amendment. Due to the intense struggle for this basic right, women felt empowered and expressed themselves more freely. The flapper movement was a national fashion trend that became very popular.

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 Celebrities rose to prominence in the media, jazz music was more widespread than ever, and silent films were all the rage. For the first time in history, African American musicians were in the public eye and widely applauded. 

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Woman in front of Art Deco staircase and floor.

Art Deco became very popular, characterized by symmetry and a strong affinity for geometric forms. Art Deco emphasized bright, high-contrast colors and modern materials, reflecting the split with tradition and positive sentiments about the future that defined the Roaring Twenties.

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1920s Bride with her attendants and flower girl.

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