Art deco is a design style that held sway in the early decades of the last century. It articulated much of what was emerging in those times: technological competence, cultural confidence and an artistic aesthetic that merged old with new, artistry with science and the future with the past. In some ways it was a break from the past, and in other ways, it was the first global perspective, taking inspiration from everywhere it could find it; Egyptian, African, Byzantine, Mayan, Aztec, Incan, Japanese, American Indian – all of these contributed an aesthetic to the art deco movement.
Wikipedia has a broad and deep explanation of the art deco style.
Here’s an article I wrote about Art Deco architecture in Milwaukee,
and here’s one that was written about my home and Art Deco collection.
Chicago Art Deco Society is a local art deco group that offers tours and lectures.
A nice site that gives you a visual taste of art deco architecture is DecoPix.