Definitions

decorative arts

decorative arts

decorative arts, term referring to a variety of applied visual arts, both two- and three-dimensional, including textiles, metalwork, ceramics, books, and woodwork, as well as to certain aspects of architecture (see ornament), public buildings, and private houses (see interior decoration). It is also applied to numerous household objects that have surfaces suitable for ornamental design; to ecclesiastical vestments and appurtenances; and to personal apparel and belongings, including costumes, jewelry, goldwork and silverware, arms and armor, tools, saddles, and automobiles.
The decorative arts are traditionally defined as ornamental and functional works in ceramic, wood, glass, metal, or textile. The field includes ceramics, furniture, furnishings, interior design, and architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the "fine arts", 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. Decorative arts, or furnishings, may be fixed (for example, wallpaper), or moveable (for example, lamps).

See also

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.
  • Campbell, Gordon. The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Thornton, Peter. Authentic Decor: Domestic Interior, 1620–1920. London: Seven Dials, 2000.

External links

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