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Ornament: A Social History Since 1450

Snodin, Michael; Howard, Maurice

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ISBN 10: 0300064551 / ISBN 13: 9780300064551
New Condition: New Hardcover
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About this Item

1996 232 pages, 8.5 x 10.5 in size, Hardcover with dustjacket in protected mylar cover (removable). Book is Unused. Inside pages are in Excellent Condition with no tears and with no notations (no pencil marks, no underlining, no highlighting, etc.). Bookseller Inventory # GL - OFDD4

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ornament: A Social History Since 1450

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


This wide-ranging surveys the Western tradition of ornament from Renaissance interiors to gypsy caravans to the decoration of airliners. Placing ornamental design in a social context, it traces the various ways ornament has been used, the rules of decorum and etiquette associated with it, and the social, moral and spiritual values that ornament has conveyed and represented through the past five centuries. Michael Snodin and Maurice Howard begin by looking at how an authoritative view of ornament came into being: the objectives implicit in the decoration of architecture from the Renaissance onward and the manner in which printed images conveyed a common vocabulary of ornament all over the Western world. Next they survey how ornament has been used for personal decoration, analyzing how the body was been adorned in dress and jewellery and the place of ornament in the interiors of the home. They then explore the more public side of ornament, discussing the common themes that lie behind the heraldic motifs of religious ceremonies and festivals and the logos adopted by corporations. The authors conclude with an account of the ways the Western tradition of ornament has responded to and absorbed African and Asian motifs.

From Library Journal:

Ornament is often unfairly dismissed as being superfluous embellishment. Yet if we examine the message conveyed by the choice and use of ornament, we can derive a great deal of information about the character of the owner of the house or object. Writing from England, where the meaning and use of ornament have been vigorously studied and debated, art historian Snodin and curator Howard have chosen to start their ramble through ornament at the year 1450, when printed images on paper began to circulate throughout Europe. The interchange of ideas and reworking of classical motifs is a theme the authors pursue over 300 years. Neither a dry history of style nor a dense philosophical treatise, this book is an amiable examination of ornamented jewelry, home furnishings, architecture, and dress. High points include the tattoos of King George V, the origins of paisley patterning, the correct proportions of columns, and triumphal arches constructed of chairs?all given social context that helps us understand the power of ornament as social message.?David McClelland, Philadelphia
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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