World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Decorative arts

Article Id: WHEBN0001138526
Reproduction Date:

Title: Decorative arts  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Ceramic art, Shelburne Museum, Stanisław Masłowski
Collection: Architectural Elements, Art Genres, Art Media, Decorative Arts, Design, Gardening Aids, Interior Design
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Decorative arts

The front side of the Cross of Lothair (c. 1000), a classic example of "Ars Sacra"

The decorative arts are arts or crafts concerned with the design and manufacture of beautiful objects that are also functional. It includes interior design, but not usually architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the "fine arts", namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale sculpture, which generally have no function other than to be seen.

Contents

  • "Decorative" and "Fine" arts 1
  • Influence of different materials 2
  • Renaissance attitudes 3
  • Arts and Crafts Movement 4
  • Some decorative arts 5
  • See also 6
  • References and sources 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

"Decorative" and "Fine" arts

Surahi, Mughal, 17th Century CE. National Museum, New Delhi

The distinction between the decorative and the fine arts has essentially arisen from the post-Renaissance art of the West, where the distinction is for the most part meaningful. This distinction is much less meaningful when considering the art of other cultures and periods, where the most highly regarded works – or even all works – include those in decorative media. For example, Islamic art in many periods and places consists entirely of the decorative arts, as does the art of many traditional cultures. The distinction between decorative and fine arts is not very useful for appreciating Chinese art, and neither is it for understanding Early Medieval art in Europe. In that period in Europe, fine arts such as manuscript illumination and monumental sculpture existed, but the most prestigious works tended to be in goldsmith work, in cast metals such as bronze, or in other techniques such as ivory carving. Large-scale wall-paintings were much less regarded, crudely executed, and rarely mentioned in contemporary sources. They were probably seen as an inferior substitute for mosaic, which for this period must be viewed as a fine art, though in recent centuries mosaics have tended to be seen as decorative. The term "ars sacra" ("sacred arts") is sometimes used for medieval Christian art done in metal, ivory, textiles, and other high-value materials but not for rarer secular works from that period.

Chinese bowl, Northern Song Dynasty, 11th or 12th century, porcelaneous pottery with celadon glaze

Influence of different materials

Modern understanding of the art of many cultures tends to be distorted by the modern privileging of fine art media over others, as well as the very different survival rates of works in different media. Works in metal, above all in precious metals, are liable to be "recycled" as soon as they fall from fashion, and were often used by owners as repositories of wealth, to be melted down when extra money was needed. Illuminated manuscripts have a much higher survival rate, especially in the hands of the church, as there was little value in the materials and they were easy to store.

Renaissance attitudes

The promotion of the fine arts over the decorative in European thought can largely be traced to the Renaissance, when Italian theorists such as Vasari promoted artistic values, exemplified by the artists of the High Renaissance, that placed little value on the cost of materials or the amount of skilled work required to produce a work, but instead valued artistic imagination and the individual touch of the hand of a supremely gifted master such as Michelangelo, Raphael or Leonardo da Vinci, reviving to some extent the approach of antiquity. Most European art during the Middle Ages had been produced under a very different set of values, where both expensive materials and virtuoso displays in difficult techniques had been highly valued. In China both approaches had co-existed for many centuries: ink and wash painting, mostly of landscapes, was to a large extent produced by and for the scholar-bureaucrats or "literati", and was intended as an expression of the artist's imagination above all, while other major fields of art, including the very important Chinese ceramics produced in effectively industrial conditions, were produced according to a completely different set of artistic values.

Arts and Crafts Movement

The lower status given to works of decorative art in contrast to fine art narrowed with the rise of the Arts and Crafts Movement. This aesthetic movement of the second half of the 19th century was born in England and inspired by

  • Home Economics Archive: Tradition, Research, History (HEARTH)
    Cornell University
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Argentine Decorative Art Museum
  • Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture - electronic resources
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art American decorative arts collection
  • National Gallery of Art decorative arts collection
  • Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, Milan, Italy
  • Museum of the City of New York Decorative Arts Collection

External links

  • Dormer, Peter (ed.), The Culture of Craft, 1997, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719046181, 9780719046186, google books

Further reading

  • 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.
Sources
  1. ^ "Arts and Crafts Movement". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Section 35(1)", UK Legislation, Copyright Act 1911 
  3. ^ Edmund Eldergill (2012), The Decorative Arts and Copyright, Lagoon Contemporary Furniture 
References

References and sources

See also

Some decorative arts

The influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement led to the decorative arts being given a greater appreciation and status in society and this was soon reflected by changes in the law. Until the enactment of the Copyright Act 1911 only works of fine art had been protected from unauthorised copying. The 1911 Act extended the definition of an "artistic work" to include works of "artistic craftsmanship".[2][3]

[1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.