World Congress on Art Deco

History, Goals and Event

The World Congress on Art Deco ® is an initiative commenced by the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) in 1991. MDPL owns the name and the corporate logo for the World Congress.

Conceived by Barbara Baer Capitman of Miami Beach, and initiated by the Art Deco preservation group she founded, Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), the World Congress aims to provide a forum for the worldwide exchange and promotion of ideas and information

At the formal bi-annual meeting of ICADS, sponsor societies seeking to host a future Congress (ie in four years) can submit nominations, which are considered and voted on at the meeting. The meeting also ratifies the next World Congress (in two years time).

A World Congress is intended to provide a forum for the world-wide exchange and promotion of ideas and information about Art Deco. The goals are:

  • To promote the understanding of Art Deco as a worldwide design movement
  • To identify sites and monuments around the world
  • To network preservation groups
  • To promote the conservation and preservation of sites and monuments
  • To utilise Art Deco as an opportunity for economic development through tourism
  • To raise the public awareness of Art Deco

Each Congress consists of 4-5 days of formal presentations, structured tours, and social events. Pre-Congress and post-Congress programmes (generally consisting of 3 day tours) are also developed and conducted in cities reasonably close to the Congress site.

Previous and Future Host Cities of the World Congress on Art Deco:


1991 – 1st Miami, USA

1993 – 2nd Perth, Australia

1995 – 3rd Brighton, England

1997 – 4th Los Angeles, USA

1999 – 5th Napier, New Zealand

2001 – 6th Tulsa, USA

2003 – 7th Cape Town, South Africa

2005 – 8th New York, USA

2007 – 9th Melbourne, Australia

2009 – 10th Montréal, Canada

2011 – 11th Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2013 – 12th Havana, Cuba

2015 – 13th Shanghai, China

2017 – 14th Cleveland, USA

2019 – 15th Buenos Aires, Argentina