A book provisionally titled The Decaying Edges of Modernism: Art Deco and the Spectre of Decadence in the Twentieth Century which questions the way the cultural field of modernism has been defined. Starting with some of the dominant discourses that have formed a modernist canon in the visual arts (for example, Le Corbusier, Adolph Loos, Roger Fry, Clement Greenberg), I take up three terms that were consistently disavowed as decadent: the historical, the handmade and the decorative. Arguing that these terms characterized both decadent cultural practice in late nineteenth-century France and England and art deco production during the 1920s, I trace a number of links between these two artistic moments in the spheres of painting and illustration, interior design, architecture, fashion and early film. Although the investigation begins with decadence in England and France, it soon crosses the Atlantic as deco artifacts and designs were imported into the United States and Canada where they assumed new forms and reached different publics. The first chapter considers how recent attempts to theorize decadence as a series of visual and textual strategies, rather than as a set of recurrent themes and motifs, sheds useful light on the dynamics of art deco production. The remainder of the book explores the three disavowed discourses (one per chapter) by looking at particular examples of artistic production that unsettle conventional understandings of what it meant to be modern. The chapter on history addresses how archaeological discoveries in Egypt stimulated the production of western artifacts that embodied new senses of time, space and surface projection. The one on the handmade analyzes the way certain women designers selectively engaged with the legacy of the arts and crafts movement to forge alternative and resistant practices in an increasingly spectacular and global economy. The final chapter on the decorative remains to be written. My sojourn at the Camargo Foundation enabled me to complete the second chapter and make substantial progress on the first and third.