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Collection: Decorative Arts



Vase Vase Cabinet Folding Invalid Chair Leg Splint Sparton Table Radio "Normandie" Pitcher Tray or Waiter Flask Weil-Worgelt Study Century Vase Side Chair (Taburete) Punch Bowl Tea Caddy Chest of Drawers "Pedestal" Armchair and Seat Cushion "Diamond" Armchair Armchair Table Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano Wallpaper and Border Exhibitor Corner Chair (Modern Gothic style) Armchair (Egyptian Revival style) Armchair Cocktail Glass, One of Eight Ewer Salt Shaker Vase Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair Flask Cabinet-Secretary Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair


The decorative arts collection reflects changes in domestic life and design from the seventeenth century to the present. Included are materials ranging from furniture, silver, glass, and ceramics to period rooms and textiles. Although the collections include some European material, their greatest strength is in American objects.

The earliest pieces of decorative art to enter the collection were silver spoons that came to the Museum in 1902; these were followed the next year by a number of pieces of European porcelain. With the arrival of Luke Vincent Lockwood, a noted collector and scholar, in 1914, the focus of the collections shifted from Europe to America. In 1915, the Museum acquired its first period room; although there are twenty-six period rooms installed in the Museum, due to ongoing construction only five that date from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth century are currently on view. During the 1930s, the Museum began actively exhibiting modern design, focusing on design's relationship to industry.

Our collection of decorative arts is exhibited on our fourth floor in galleries and period rooms, and on the fifth floor in the Luce Center for American Art, including American Identities, a permanent display of American art, and the Visible Storage • Study Center. The department is supported by the American Art Council.

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