Decorative Arts

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The term Decorative Arts has long been used to distinguish some classes of objects from the Fine Arts, but the boundaries between these two classifications are fuzzy and open to debate. Decorative Arts has been applied to functional objects that were artistically embellished, as opposed to objects that had no function other than to serve as Art.

Paintings, sculpture and photography are obvious examples of Art that has no particular use apart from being observed and enjoyed, but pottery, silver services and furniture are daily objects that could be utilitarian but could also be works of fine craftsmanship. As a result, decorative arts spans a huge range of object classes, techniques and materials. Decorative objects can be made of metals or alloys, ceramics and glass, stone, wood and textiles. And of course, many of these objects could have been painted and/or gilded. Tiffany lampshades, popular during the Art Nouveau period at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, and Meissen porcelain that started in Meissen, Germany during the early 18th centurey in an effort to compete with the famous but expensive porcelain being imported from China. And many other famous classes of decorative arts are known including iconic Greek pottery,Chippendale furniture, jewel encrusted works by Fabergé, the silver creations of Hester Bateman adn Company, and so on

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