Though utilitarian in nature, furniture is often artful in design. Furniture plays many roles in art genres and form often defining the mood of a room. It can be religious, symbolic and period specific as well. The construction can be complex or simple, the design and external treatment are just as important as the internal structure.
A style of visual art also known as style moderne that became popular in 1920s France and would infiltrate American design in the 1930s. Art Deco sprang from the geometry apparent in Cubism, the bright colors of Fauvism, and influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mayan, Egyptian and Persian art. The geometric shapes, metallics, curving symmetry of the art deco movement energized architecture, jewelry, sculpture, furniture, interior design, and the decorative arts. Art Deco signified a new modern style apart from the romance of the Art Nouveau movement and the classical Edwardian and Victorian styles of the turn-of-the-century.