Design and The Decorative Arts - Britain 1500-1900

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9781851773381: Design and The Decorative Arts - Britain 1500-1900

Published to celebrate the reopening of the newly refurbished British Galleries in the Victoria and Albert Museum. This work tells the story of design and decorative art in Britain from the time of Henry VIII to the reign of Queen Victoria. It shows how Britain's rise during this period to become the most powerful nation on earth was reflected in her art, architecture and design, in the way that people lived, and in the increasing quantity and quality of things made in Britain, from furniture to fashionable textiles and from porcelain to elegant silverware. Matching the royal dynasties of the period, the book is divided into the three major sections: Tudor and Stuart Britain; Georgian Britain and Victorian Britain, each looking at the achievements of British design in different and revealing ways. Key themes - "Style", "Who Led Taste", "Fashionable Living" and "What Was New" - form a framework for each section, within the broader historical context. Separate chapters deal with not only what things looked like, but also how they were made and how they fitted into daily life, who decided what was fashionable, and how key technical innovations changed the world. The text sets out to provide a fascinating picture of the changing nature of British design from the time of the Tudors to the Victorian period when Britain was seen as "the workshop of the world". The illustrations are taken chiefly from the V and A's collections of British art and design.

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About the Author:

Michael Snodin is Head of the Designs Section of the V & A's Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings. Publications include Sir William Chambers (V & A Publications, 1996) and Carl and Karin Larsson: Creators of the Swedish Style (V & A Publications, 1997). John Styles is Senior Tutor of the V & A / RCA History of Design course. Widely published, he is a historian specialising in the eighteenth century, and is currently historical advisor to the V & A's British Galleries team.

From Library Journal:

This abundantly illustrated book offers a fascinating history of the evolution of British design over four centuries. Efforts by the Victoria & Albert Museum to clarify and substantiate the importance of decorative arts have culminated in the opening of its new British Galleries. Snodin (department of prints, drawings, and paintings, V&A) and Styles (head of postgraduate studies, V&A) have produced this accompanying catalog, the definitive work on the evolution of British design. Divided into three historical sections Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian the book deals with those objects that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, reflecting the needs and tastes of the time, as well as the social and historical processes that took place in their creation. Covering every topic from the decorated halls of Hampton Court Palace to Wedgwood china to fashion magazines, this is, perhaps, the most complete resource in the field. Drawing upon the splendid design resources of the V&A, the authors have done a great service to the study of artistry and innovation of design. They also offer the reader an elegant look at the role of changing tastes and technology in the objects of everyday life. Highly recommended. Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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