Art Deco Trust

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Guided Walking Tours

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---Daily Walking Tours
Join the 20,000 plus people who take a guided Art Deco Walk each year.
Your informative and entertaining guide will bring Napier's fascinating architectural
history to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco
Quarter in the vibrant city centre.

Walks are held twice daily year-round (except Christmas Day) and are held
rain or shine. No bookings are necessary . During the summer months a special evening walk is held at 5pm, see below for details.

Walkers receive an informative Art Deco Walk booklet. Complimentary
refreshments and a movie screening are available afterwards.

---Morning Walks (10.00am)
Compact Morning Walks last one hour and are ideal for people
with limited time. Meet your guide at the Napier i-Site Visitors' Centre, Marine Parade
(next to the Sound Shell) at 9.45am ready for a 10am start. The walk ends at the ART DECO TRUST, 163 Tennyson Street.

---Afternoon Walks (2.00pm)
Comprehensive Afternoon Walks last two hours and include an audio visual presentation and some interior visits. At the end of the Walks there is an optional 30 minute movie screening. Walks start and finish at the ART DECO CENTRE, meet your guide at 1.45pm ready for a 2pm start.

---Evening Walks
5.00pm (from 1 December 2010 – 31 March 2011)

Evening Walks last 1.5 hours and start and finish at the Napier i-Site Visitors' Centre where you can purchase your tickets before you start. They are as comprehensive as the afternoon walks, but do not include the audio-visual presentation, or interior visits.


The style we now call Art Deco originated in Europe in the early years of the 20th Century, and its heyday was from 1920 to 1940. It became widely known following the great Exposition des Arts Modernes Decoratifs et Industriels, held in Paris in 1925 and from which its name was ultimately derived. By the late 1930s it was in its streamlined phase and after World War 2, the International Style, devoid of all decoration, held sway. Not until the late 1960s did people begin to rediscover it and take it seriously.

Art Deco expressed all the vigor and optimism of the roaring twenties, and the idealism and escapism of the grim thirties.

Its decorative themes are:

* Sunbursts and fountains - representing the dawn of a new modern age.
* The Skyscraper shape - symbolic of the 20th century.
* Symbols of speed, power and flight - the exiting new developments in transport and communications.
* Geometric shapes - representing the machine and technology which it was thought would solve all our problems.
* The new woman - revelling in her recently won social freedoms.
* Breaking the rules - cacophonous jazz, short skirts and hair, shocking dances.
* Ancient cultures - for oddly enough, there was a fascination with the civilizations of Egypt and central America.

All of these themes are represented on the buildings of Napier, most of which are still standing today and are lovingly cared for by their owners.

Art Deco Trust Web Page

Click here.