How do we approach the topic of ornament today? Can we learn to see and explore it as neither kitsch nor a relic – but in fact a possibility for new creativity and insight? What would happen if we, once again, allowed ornament to be a valid expression on its own terms?
While the question of ornament resurfaces every now and then, it is often curiously invisible from a theoretical standpoint. With the modernist ideologies during the 20th century came not only a stigma and contempt toward ornament, but also a dismantling of the discourse of decoration itself. Our inability to appreciate ornament as anything other than mere surface is an interesting challenge in our cultural self-understanding, and a major issue for professionals across the creative fields.
This book is an introduction to the history of ornament and the impact it has on us today. Art historians as well as contemporary practitioners share different viewpoints that can stimulate new dialogue on the diverse world of ornament in both theory and practice.