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Design & the decorative arts - Michael Snodin

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Design & the decorative arts - Victorian Britain, 1837-1901
Michael Snodin
Paperback / softback
V&A Publishing
UK Publication Date

With an empire that embraced a fifth of the earth's land surface and a quarter of its people, Britain was the workshop of the world. London was rivalled only by Paris as a focus for international interest in design and the decorative arts and British products could be found across the globe. Victorian self-confidence seemed boundless, but optimism about the human capacity to transform the material world was matched by a spiritual disquiet that found powerful expression in design and the decorative arts. Victorians despaired at the endless tide of new things that surged forth from factory and workshop, they agonized about the way those things looked and they were disturbed by the degraded conditions endured by the workers who made them. Yet in their efforts to confront these problems, they produced some the masterpieces of Victorian design. Lavishly illustrated and unmatched in its coverage, this book explores design and the decorative arts from a number of points of view. It assesses their place in the wider history of Victorian Britain. It examines style, the question of how things looked. It asks who led taste, who decided what was to be considered beautiful, fashionable and desirable. It looks at how fashionable things - from houses to clothing - were used. It asks what was new, examining new products and innovations in the ways they were made. Together, the chapters provide an indispensable resource for the study of design and the decorative arts in Victorian Britain.

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Michael Snodin is Head of the Designs Section of the V&A's Word & Image Department. His publications include Sir William Chambers (V&A, 1996) and Carl and Karin Larsson: Creators of the Swedish Style (co-author, V&A, 1997). John Styles is Head of Postgraduate Studies at the V&A, with particular responsibility for the V&A/Royal College of Art History of Design course. He has published widely on manufacturing, consumption and design in eighteenth-century England, and was historical advisor to the V&A's British Galleries team.

Keyword Index
Design - Great Britain - History.|Decorative arts - Great Britain - History.
Country of Publication
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