Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts

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While some artworks are more readily labeled as "decorative arts" and others as "sculpture," such objects can exchange and share features. Decorative objects intended for functional or ceremonial use can incorporate sculptural forms or assert a sculptural presence and, conversely, sculpture can perform decoratively, serving an ornamental program or purpose.
Showcased in this book are thirty-eight extraordinary works of decorative art, furniture, and sculpture, that embody such sculptural inventiveness. Drawn from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Temple Newsam House, Leeds, England, these pieces will be on exhibit from October 2, 2008, through January 4, 2009, at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, and from March 31, 2009, through July 5, 2009, at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This concise, deeply thoughtful, well-written, and visually first-rate exhibition catalog considers the differences and similarities between sculpture as an independent work of art and as decoration in architectural spaces and on furniture. Drawing on the deep and rich collections of French and English 17th- and 18th-century furniture at the Temple Newsam House in Leeds and the Getty Museum, English and American curators and scholars present a great deal of fresh thinking, showing not a break or value difference between fine and decorative arts but a spectrum of continuity. Despite its rather narrow, ostensible subject, this outstanding example of close looking and object-based art history is recommended for all art collections.
—Amy Trendler

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892369638
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 3/15/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martina Droth is research coordinator at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.
Charissa Bremer-David is curator in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Katie Scott is reader at the Courtauld Institute, London.
Mary D. Sheriff is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mimi Hellman is Assistant Professor of Art History at Skidmore College.

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