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Encyclopedia > Decorative arts

The decorative arts are traditionally defined as ornamental and functional works in ceramic, wood, glass, metal, or textile. The class includes furniture, furnishings, interior design, and architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the fine or high arts (or just art), namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale sculpture. Some distinguish between decorative and fine art based on functionality, intended purpose, importance, status as a unique creation, or single artist production.

Selected Bibliography

  • Fiell, Charlotte and Peter, eds. Decorative Art Yearbook (one for each decade of the 20th century). Translated. Bonn: Taschen, 2000.
  • Fleming, John and Hugh Honour. Dictionary of the Decorative Arts. New York: Harper and Row, 1977.
  • Frank, Isabelle. The Theory of Decorative Art: An Anthology of European and American Writings, 1750-1940. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
  • Thornton, Peter. Authentic Decor: Domestic Interior, 1620-1920. London: Seven Dials, 2000.

  Results from FactBites:
It is a statewide organization that fosters knowledge, enjoyment, and appreciation of the decorative arts and celebrates the architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters House.
Before modern day designers and decorators were part of the mainstream, Russel Wright’s table ware, serving pieces and furniture were found in homes across the U.S. Living with Good Design will trace the development of Wright’s career as the creator of a new American way of living in the mid 20th century.
Any and all art works with a sense of design fall under the decorative arts and are the wonderful things that we live with and look at every day.
Corcoran - College of Art + Design [MA in History of Decorative Arts] (4700 words)
For this very reason, the field of decorative arts history is enormously exciting: the significant objects that demand attention offer extraordinary opportunities for graduate students to contribute to and define a bourgeoning field of scholarship.
Traditionally, study of the decorative arts has been dominated by matters of connoisseurship, material production, and provenance, all of which are rightly integral to the subject.
The MA in the History of Decorative Arts is awarded upon completion of 48 credits with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and successful completion of the Masters Examination or Thesis.
  More results at FactBites »



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