Cover image for The elements of design : a practical encyclopedia of the decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present
The elements of design : a practical encyclopedia of the decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present
Riley, Noël.
Publication Information:
New York : Free Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
544 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK750 .E48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



In the bestselling tradition ofThe Elements of Style, The Elements of Designis a comprehensive visual survey of the design styles that have had the greatest impact on the decorative arts in the Western world. With more than 3,000 prints, photographs, and line drawings, the book covers five centuries of the Western decorative arts tradition, including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Regency, Gothic, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernism, and the Space Age.The key elements of the Western decorative arts tradition are explored chronologically. Each chapter begins with a broad introduction to the era, summarizing its key style features. Within the chapter there follows close examination of individual objects, including ceramics, glass, silver and metalwork, furniture, and textiles. All the items illustrated form a visual vocabulary of each design movement. The book also includes biographies of innovative designers, information on conservation and maintenance, and a comprehensive glossary of design terms.Compiled by a team of experts under the guidance of design specialists Noël Riley and Patricia Bayer,The Elements of Designis an indispensable reference work for collectors, design historians, interior decorators, set designers, and all those interested in our decorative arts heritage.

Author Notes

Noel Riley, is a specialist writer and lecturer on the decorative arts. A part-time tutor at Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, and a lecturer for the Worker's Educational Association, she contributes a regular column to Historic House
Patricia Bayer, is a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century European and American decorative arts and design
Helen Clifford (Neoclassical Silver and Metalwork), course tutor in silver and metalwork at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Royal College of Art, London
Max Donnelly (Aesthetic Movement), registrar and 19th-century decorative arts expert at The Fine Art Society, London
Jane Gardiner (16th- to early-18th-century pottery), Deputy Director of the 17th- and 18th-century Decorative Arts course at Sotheby's Institute, London
Mary Greensted (Arts and Crafts Movement), curator and Keeper of Visitor Services at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum
Sally Kevill-Davies (18th-century ceramics), expert, writer, and researcher, responsible for the re-cataloguing of English porcelain at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Rachel Layton Elwes (American Baroque and Rococo furniture, Neoclassical ceramics and glass, and Contemporary), curator in Medieval and Modern Europe at the British Museum, London, and curatorial assistant at The Gilbert Collection, London
J.R. Liefkes (16th- to early-18th-century glass), Acting Chief Curator of the ceramics and glass department at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Andy McConnell (Rococo and Neoclassical glass), glass expert, historian, and writer
Alan Powers (Modernism), writer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich School of Architecture and Landscape, London
Daru Rooke (Historic Revivals and The Grand Manner), broadcaster and Senior Curator, Leeds Museums and Galleries
Mary Schoeser (16th- to early-19th-century textiles), textile specialist, Consultant Archivist and Curator at the London Institute and Liberty of London Prints
Timothy Schroder (16th- to 19th-century silver and metalwork), former Curatorial Consultant and Keeper of the Gilbert Collection, London
Adriana Turpin (16th- to early-18th-century furniture), Deputy Director of Sotheby's Europe and decorative arts tutor at Sotheby's Institute, London
Lisa White (Rococo, Neoclassical furniture), curator at the Holborne Museum of Art, Bath
Nigel Whiteley (Space Age), professor in the School of Creative Arts at Lancaster University
Ghislaine Wood (Art Nouveau), curator in the research department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Jonathan M. Woodham (Postmodernism), professor of History of Design and Director of the Design History Research Centre, University of Brighton

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Edited by decorative arts writer Riley (The Victorian Design Source Book), this visual reference outlines the history of design styles in North America and Europe. Divided into chronological sections, it begins with the Renaissance (here defined as 1400-1600) and culminates in 2000. Within each section are subsections on furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, textiles, and so forth. Various sections were written by different authors, and as in all such cooperative efforts there is a lack of continuity. It would have been helpful had the editor laid down clear guidelines as to what each section should include. Furthermore, the text lacks any indication that styles did, of course, carry over from one period to another and does not discuss how an earlier style evolved over time. Nevertheless, a surprising amount of information is presented. The hundreds of photographs and drawings are clearly labeled, and the glossary and index are well done and helpful. Despite the few flaws, this is an excellent sourcebook for those wishing to obtain an overview of the dominant styles in each period.-Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 8
Renaissance 1400-1600p. 10
Introductionp. 10
Furniturep. 14
Potteryp. 20
Glassp. 26
Silver and Metalworkp. 30
Textilesp. 38
Baroque c. 1600-1730p. 40
Introductionp. 40
Furniturep. 44
Ceramicsp. 62
Glassp. 66
Silver and Metalworkp. 70
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 76
Rococo c. 1715-70p. 80
Introductionp. 80
Furniturep. 84
Ceramicsp. 100
Glassp. 108
Silver and Metalworkp. 114
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 122
Neoclassicism c. 1760-1830p. 126
Introductionp. 126
Furniturep. 130
Ceramicsp. 160
Glassp. 176
Silver and Metalworkp. 188
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 202
Historic Revivals c. 1820-1900p. 210
Introductionp. 210
Furniturep. 214
Ceramicsp. 228
Glassp. 234
Silver and Metalworkp. 242
Textilesp. 244
Wallpaperp. 248
The Aesthetic Movement 1870-90p. 250
Introductionp. 250
Furniturep. 254
Ceramicsp. 262
Glassp. 266
Metalworkp. 268
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 270
Arts and Crafts c. 1880-1920p. 274
Introductionp. 274
Furniturep. 278
Ceramicsp. 286
Glassp. 288
Silver and Metalworkp. 290
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 294
Art Nouveau 1890-1914p. 298
Introductionp. 298
Furniturep. 302
Ceramicsp. 314
Glassp. 318
Silver and Metalworkp. 322
Textiles and Wallpaperp. 326
Early Modernism 1900-30p. 330
Introductionp. 330
Furniturep. 334
Ceramicsp. 62
Glassp. 342
Silver and Metalworkp. 344
Textilesp. 348
Art Deco 1910-39p. 350
Introductionp. 350
Furniturep. 354
Ceramicsp. 360
Glassp. 364
Silver and Metalworkp. 368
Textilesp. 372
Mass-Produced Wares and Industrial Designp. 376
Modernism 1920-49p. 378
Introductionp. 378
Furniturep. 382
Ceramicsp. 396
Glassp. 402
Silver and Metalworkp. 410
Textilesp. 412
Industrial Designp. 416
Lightingp. 418
Contemporary c. 1945-60p. 420
Introductionp. 420
Furniturep. 424
Ceramicsp. 434
Glassp. 438
Silver and Metalworkp. 442
Textilesp. 444
Plastics and Appliancesp. 446
Space Age 1960-69p. 450
Introductionp. 450
Furniturep. 454
Ceramicsp. 462
Glassp. 464
Metalworkp. 466
Fashion and Textilesp. 468
Industrial Designp. 474
Postmodernism 1970-2000p. 482
Introductionp. 482
Furniturep. 486
Ceramicsp. 494
Glassp. 496
Silver and Metalworkp. 498
Textiles and Rugsp. 500
Industrial Designp. 502
Contributor Biographiesp. 506
Sourcesp. 508
Glossaryp. 510
Indexp. 523
Acknowledgmentsp. 541