It's intriguing to look back from an 80+ year distance to hear people's reactions to the modernist movement of the 1920s. Even sophisticated American tastemakers had misgivings about the lines and proportions of the new designs of the time.
After a visit to the 1925 Paris Exhibition, Richardson Wright, editor of House and Garden magazine writes of the 'modern tendencies' in art, architecture, and design :
"There were enough architectural vagaries in to make this American delegate wonder if the show were the product of madmen, or simply the tricks and pranks of highly sophisticated architects who wanted to create the most serious and sustained exhibition of bad taste the world had ever seen. Or were they really striving for a hitherto unpronounced interpretation of living Nature."
(Quotes from this book.)
I have to say, my first thought when reading the quote above was, 'huh, what a stuffy man!'
Until I did a web search and found some of these images of the actual buildings created for the exhibit. Then...he was harsh, but I could understand his point of view a bit more. All architectural images and many more from this website. Click on pictures for larger image.
Apparently, the Melnikov pavilion by the USSR was put out in the far reaches of the exhibition land:
But I still think the pavilion for colonial French Africa is the wildest of the bunch:
Wright went on to focus on the furniture and decoration of the exhibit, saying that they were more pertinent to the interests of the magazine. The accompanying images in the 1925 article are not all from the exhibit itself. (Some are from a New York apartment, and some are from French exhibitors.) He had some mixed reactions to the modernist furniture in Paris at the show:
"The first thing that strikes the observer are the lines of the furniture. The pieces look elephantine and out of proportion. So a great many of them are. They appear to have been made for people who are very much overweight."
On the other hand, he had this to say:
"...much of the craftsmanship is superb, for good craftsmanship is a form of tradition that has not yet been abandoned on the Continent. Rare and unusual woods are used and used effectively."
"The chairs are, in the main, comfortable; but the lines of the furniture, however stimulating as novelties cannot be said the delight the eye for a long time. They are too heavy, too ponderous, too serious looking."
Room decoration attributed to Lord and Taylor
Wright also contrasts the wall colors, wallpaper, and textiles to the furniture style:
"The designs are modernist in the extreme. And whereas the furniture designs are mainly rotund, the fabric designs are often angular. They are lively and amusing and full of laughter."