Erté (1892 – 1990) A pseudonym for Romain de Tirtoff — was an influential 20th-century artist whose sleek aesthetic permeated the realms of 20th-century fashion, art, theatre, film, and interior design. Widely celebrated as the “Father of Art Deco,” Erté created glamorous illustrations that reflected a modern luxury and prosperity emphasized by clean lines and geometric patterns found in classical Greek pottery and Japanese woodblock prints. Born in Russia, Erté got his start as a costume designer in the workshop of famed Parisian couturier Paul Poiret, where he would dress dancers and film stars like Josephine Baker and Joan Crawford and design stage sets for Broadway productions and Hollywood films. Also a professional illustrator, Erté designed over 200 covers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. His paintings and drawings are held in the collections of renowned institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. Erté’s alias comes from the French pronunciation of his initials, R and T.