Author: Michael Snodin
Number of Pages: 96
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.