Decoration and Ornament: A Wealth of Material

Singing shawl from Thailand, from "The Shining Cloth: Dress and Adornment that Glitter", 391.009, R524s.

Some days you come to the library and just want to find some inspiration. If you’re ready for some good browsing, try the subject heading DECORATION AND ORNAMENT in the library catalog. While difficult to categorize, it includes a wide array of topics such as patterns, borders, alphabets and lettering, and artistic movements, styles, and materials. There are some very interesting subheadings, such as:





One of the best-known books on ornament is The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, published in 1856. Jones was an architect who had made a long study of architectural ornament, and, according to Oxford Art Online, “Jones’s work at the Crystal Palace led him to realize that the principles embodied in earlier art were more important to designers than the forms themselves.”

Jones, Owen. The Grammar of Ornament. Portland House, 1986. 745.4 J722g. Plate 43, no. 6: dados, Hall of the Two Sisters, from the Alhambra. "Moresque" means Moorish.

Here are just a few images from books that can be found under DECORATION AND ORNAMENT:

from Decorative Ironwork. 739.4 C153d. Photo caption, p. 43: "Door-knocker; wrought iron. French, nineteenth century.
from "The Decorative Thirties", 745.4442 B32dth 1988. Photo is on p. 124. Caption, p. 125: "Glass chandelier made in Murano, Venice, in the mid 1930s, and sold by Veronese from their shop in the Rue St Philippe-du-Roule, Paris. It has a metal frame, with the light fitting concealed in a silvered bowl, from which the curved glass strips cascade out in a fountain."
from Decorative Ironwork. 739.4 C153d. Photo caption, pp. 38-39: Door to St. Saviour's Church, Dartmouth, Devon; wrought iron on oak, English, c. 1390, repaired in 1631, the design inspired by the medieval royal arms of England: three leopards, with stylized leaves typical of the late fourteenth century.
from Handbook of Designs and Devices. 1959. 745.44 H78ha 1959. Page 167: "The Triad and Its Variants"
from Complete Pattern Library. 745.4 H120c (plus GCD 249) pages 72-73



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