As a serious lover and collector of books and magazines, I often find myself scouring bookstores in every corner of the world in hopes that I’ll unearth some rare gem. When it comes to collecting, I don’t think that it’s always necessary to spend a small fortune on a special title. I like to build my library by adding both new and used books, catalogs, and magazines on subjects that I may not be familiar with but that pique my interest. Spending $5 on a used book about folk art can sometimes feed my creativity more than spending $300 on a limited-edition fashion book. A couple of weeks ago I came across a wonderful small used book and record store in Santa Monica called Angel City Books. It was meticulously organized and filled with everything from rare and out of print classics to catalogs of gallery exhibitions and books on antiques. One of the titles I picked up was The Decorative Twenties by Martin Battersby, where I read about the decorative artist Jean Dupas whose paintings featured women either in the nude or in beautiful Art Deco dresses, standing or lounging in nature with an air of confidence and sophistication. While I love Art Deco textiles, I don’t often gravitate towards that style and era of artwork, but the colors and subject matter along with the influence of Cubism that can be seen in some of the paintings captured my attention. Now I’m completely fantasizing about owning one Dupas’s marvelous paintings.
The Decorative Twenties
Jean Dupas, Decorative Artist