Photos: Art Deco makes a comeback in India on Instagram

Birthed in Paris and popularized in the US of the Roaring Twenties, Art Deco was shorthand for architectural modernism. Art Deco took off in India in the 1930s, with Bombay as its epicentre, then spread to other cities where reinforced concrete was in growing use. Instagrammers in various cities have captured the Deco of our times. Kerala’s Art Deco is in the way the style is sprinkled into buildings all over the state. Kolkata’s Deco footprint is remarkable in its commercial buildings; Hyderabad has striking Deco windows, doors and staircases in many of its private residences. In Mumbai, where Marine Drive is home to the world’s second-largest Art Deco ensemble after Miami, these buildings with their portholes, rounded corners and geometrical elements emerged as a young challenger to the older Gothic aesthetic.

Updated On Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST 10 Photos
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View of a stairway in a private residence in West Maredpally, Hyderabad. Hyderabad’s tryst with Art Deco is laid out in @ArtDecoHyderabad, an Instagram page run by architecture student Nitya Gonnakuti, 21. Its focus areas: Art Deco windows, doors and staircases. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

View of a stairway in a private residence in West Maredpally, Hyderabad. Hyderabad’s tryst with Art Deco is laid out in @ArtDecoHyderabad, an Instagram page run by architecture student Nitya Gonnakuti, 21. Its focus areas: Art Deco windows, doors and staircases. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Mahmood House Grand Garden in Yousufguda, Hyderabad. In heritage homes across the city, banisters are shaped like tidal waves, iron window stoppers curl outwards like the prong of an anchor. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

Mahmood House Grand Garden in Yousufguda, Hyderabad. In heritage homes across the city, banisters are shaped like tidal waves, iron window stoppers curl outwards like the prong of an anchor. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Sheesh Mahal, Ameerpet, Hyderabad. According to the Art Deco Hyderabad Instagram handle, the building was built in the 1950s, and commissioned to the current owner Mr. Mahesh Chand’s father, who was asked to build a theatre for the army. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

Sheesh Mahal, Ameerpet, Hyderabad. According to the Art Deco Hyderabad Instagram handle, the building was built in the 1950s, and commissioned to the current owner Mr. Mahesh Chand’s father, who was asked to build a theatre for the army. (@artdecohyderabad on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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An art deco gate at a private residence in Kuttichira, one of the old neighbourhoods of Kozhikode, Kerala. “Fusion is the Kerala Deco trademark,” says Aflah Habeeb, a graphic designer who started the Kerala Art Deco Instagram handle. (@kerala.artdeco on Instagram)

An art deco gate at a private residence in Kuttichira, one of the old neighbourhoods of Kozhikode, Kerala. “Fusion is the Kerala Deco trademark,” says Aflah Habeeb, a graphic designer who started the Kerala Art Deco Instagram handle. (@kerala.artdeco on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Mishkal Masjid in Kuttichira. Aflah Habeeb grew up in a home with Deco patterns — jaalis with intersecting circles and curved door handles. He decided to go Deco scouting, and has since uncovered scores of structures with Art Deco elements across Kerala— schools, government buildings, cinemas, educational institutes, gymnasia, dispensaries. (@kerala.artdeco on Instagram)

Mishkal Masjid in Kuttichira. Aflah Habeeb grew up in a home with Deco patterns — jaalis with intersecting circles and curved door handles. He decided to go Deco scouting, and has since uncovered scores of structures with Art Deco elements across Kerala— schools, government buildings, cinemas, educational institutes, gymnasia, dispensaries. (@kerala.artdeco on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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A view of Shyambazar Mullick Bari in Kolkata. As described on Calcutta Art Deco’s Instagram feed, according to the caretaker, the mansion was built in 1905 by the construction company Martin Burn Ltd. The house belonged to Rai Bahadur Pramanath Mullick, also author of "Kalikatar Kotha." (@calcuttaartdeco on Instagram)

A view of Shyambazar Mullick Bari in Kolkata. As described on Calcutta Art Deco’s Instagram feed, according to the caretaker, the mansion was built in 1905 by the construction company Martin Burn Ltd. The house belonged to Rai Bahadur Pramanath Mullick, also author of "Kalikatar Kotha." (@calcuttaartdeco on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Jahaj Bari on Elgin Road in Kolkata, built for the Sen family in 1928, has portholes for windows. In Kolkata, where heritage lovers focus on colonial-era mansions and Gothic architecture, advocate Adhiraj Bose, 30, is promoting a love of Art Deco through the Instagram page @calcuttaartdeco. (@calcuttaartdeco on Instagram)

Jahaj Bari on Elgin Road in Kolkata, built for the Sen family in 1928, has portholes for windows. In Kolkata, where heritage lovers focus on colonial-era mansions and Gothic architecture, advocate Adhiraj Bose, 30, is promoting a love of Art Deco through the Instagram page @calcuttaartdeco. (@calcuttaartdeco on Instagram)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Mumbai’s Liberty Cinema in 2008. Liberty, an Art Deco cinema, was described as “an exquisite jewel box of rococo decoration enhanced by a coloured lighting scheme suggesting a fairyland far away from the bustle and tumult in the streets outside” by David Vinnels and Brent Skelly, authors of Bollywood Showplaces: Cinema Theatres in India. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Archive)

Mumbai’s Liberty Cinema in 2008. Liberty, an Art Deco cinema, was described as “an exquisite jewel box of rococo decoration enhanced by a coloured lighting scheme suggesting a fairyland far away from the bustle and tumult in the streets outside” by David Vinnels and Brent Skelly, authors of Bollywood Showplaces: Cinema Theatres in India. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Archive)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Liberty in Mumbai opened in 1949. To honour India’s independence, the founder, Habib Hoosein, a cotton tradesman, decided to name it so. The Art Deco architecture was commissioned to British architect Ridley Abbott. Liberty is now a Grade 2 heritage site, and a noted Art Deco building (according to libertycinema.com). (Aalok Soni / HT Archive)

Liberty in Mumbai opened in 1949. To honour India’s independence, the founder, Habib Hoosein, a cotton tradesman, decided to name it so. The Art Deco architecture was commissioned to British architect Ridley Abbott. Liberty is now a Grade 2 heritage site, and a noted Art Deco building (according to libertycinema.com). (Aalok Soni / HT Archive)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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Mumbai is home to the world’s second-largest Art Deco ensemble after Miami --the stretch of buildings especially in Marine Drive with their portholes, turrets, soaring vertical lines, rounded corners and geometrical elements emerged as a young challenger to the older Gothic aesthetic. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Archive)

Mumbai is home to the world’s second-largest Art Deco ensemble after Miami --the stretch of buildings especially in Marine Drive with their portholes, turrets, soaring vertical lines, rounded corners and geometrical elements emerged as a young challenger to the older Gothic aesthetic. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Archive)

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 11:31 AM IST
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