Art Deco Era Wall & Doorway Lamps: Photomontage & Slide Show

A photomontage of Art Deco style exterior wall and doorway lamps embellishing Bucharest villas and apartment blocks. (©Valentin Mandache)

I like the intense sense of modernity emanated by the diverse imaginative designs of these often overlooked Bucharest Art Deco artefacts dating from the period between late 1920s and late 1930s. The design patterns emulate the light appliances typically encountered on the inter-war era ocean cruise liners or the then high tech factory halls. Most of the examples that I photographed above are in a very sorry state, habitually abused by the actual owners and occupants of those buildings, who in general do not realise the importance of conserving the architectural heritage of their own city, a legacy of the low quality public education in this country during the last seven decades of communism and subsequent market economy transition. These battered lamps, seen also individually in the slide show bellow, together with so many other half mutilated historic architecture details adorning the once beautiful buildings of this city are the witnesses of a period when the citizens of Bucharest had civic pride and a strong sense of local identity, sadly in short supply nowadays in Romania’s capital.

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I endeavor through this daily series of images and small articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

4 thoughts on “Art Deco Era Wall & Doorway Lamps: Photomontage & Slide Show

  • These lamps are beautiful… I know that the fact that these lamps are in a bad condition is quite sad, but, it makes your collage even more beautiful, because it shows the rise and fall of this dream, of art deco, the rise and fall of its mindset aswell, the way of thinking art deco implied… It is like watching the ancient ruins of a civilization, You wish they were in a perfect state but the fact that they are falling apart makes them more misterious, and exotic, it gives a better sense of history… You dont get that from Miami beach, ir the chrysler building, for example…

    Please dont get offended, i hope You dont get me wrong… I live in a country were political interests and corruption are destroying my country’s culture, and even at a larger scale, Huge beautiful buildings of enormous historical value are completely abandoned, and that is the least of our problems… Education is Being torn apart by a corrupt government and that is the worst thing that colud Ever happen to a country, so i perfectly know how You feel… i wish your lamps were perfectly taken care of… 😦

    Im not a fan of photography, but i completely loved this collage and some of your other posts… Congratulations on your commitment in rescuing valuable architecture!!!!

    I dont get something that You mentioned in your flag posts post aswell… What does this have to do with cruise lines??? I imagine that there must have been a LOT of art deco cruise lines back then but art deco Was not exclusively restricted to cruise lines… Actually nearly anything could be decorated with art deco hahah

    Congratulations on your blog. Keep up the good work!


    • Thank you for your nice comment! The ocean liner theme is an universal one for Art Deco, encountered in many locations all over the world. What I like in the case of Bucharest is the fact that the city is far away from a seashore (about 250 km away), in the middle of the Lower Danube prairie, the Art Deco buildings designed as ocean liners looking very peculiar indeed in such environment. VM


  • One of the many good things about your blog is that it is changing the way I look at the city I live in , Berlin.


    • Many thanks Monika for your kind and insightful words about my blog! It it very interesting what you say about the parallels between Bucharest and Berlin. I am very interested in such kind of comparative insights, especially between very different cultural, historical, economic and geographical settings as is the case with these two cities. What draws them together is probably their “frontier” character, far away from the traditional European cultural and and economic centres. war devastation and the communist experience. These are interesting lines that await exploration. I wrote that down in my agenda for a future possible project 🙂



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