Ornament has been central to western culture for thousands of years and surrounds us every day, whether on buildings, clothes and accessories, cars or even computers.
Behind this desire to decorate lies a need to give meaning to the things we make and live with to make them distinctive and give them added value.
The V&A Book of Western Ornament tells the story of European ornament from 1450 to the present, from its decorative origins to its relevance in the consumer culture of today.
The sources of ornament mirror the preoccupations of the age - architectural in the Renaissance, exotic in the great days of exploration and colonialism, and stylised in the Modern age.
The story of ornament is the story of western civilisation and how it presents itself to the world.
About the Author
Michael Snodin is Head of the Designs Section at the V&A and Senior Curator of the V&A+RIBA Architecture Partnership. His books include (with John Styles) Design and the Decorative Arts, Britain 1500-1900 (V&A 2001) and (with Eleanor Gawne) Exploring Architecture (V&A 2004).
Number Of Pages: 96
Published: 28th March 2006
Dimensions (cm): 21.7 x 19.6 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.474
Edition Number: 1