Sculpture and the decorative: towards a more integrated mode of art history writing

Claire Jones, Imogen Hart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction to the edited collection. Sculpture and the decorative meet in all manner of objects, art practices, and contexts. Yet they are largely kept apart in academia, art criticism, exhibitions and museums. By foregrounding the overlaps between sculpture and the decorative, this volume of essays by artists, curators and art historians offers a model for a more integrated form of art history writing. Through distinct case studies, from a seventeenth-century Danish altarpiece to contemporary British ceramics, the book charts the ways in which concepts associated with sculpture and the decorative have been employed and negotiated by practitioners, critics, audiences and historians. Exploring why and how these categories are constructed and contested reveals the various agendas that the shifting relationships between sculpture and the decorative expose and serve to support. Bringing to centre stage makers, objects and spaces that have been marginalized by the enforcement of boundaries within art and design discourse, these essays challenge the classed, raced and gendered categories that have structured the histories and languages of art and its making. Sculpture and the Decorative is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and practice of sculpture and the decorative arts and the methodologies of art history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSculpture and the Decorative in Britain and Europe
Subtitle of host publicationSeventeenth Century to Contemporary
EditorsClaire Jones, Imogen Hart
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781501341267 , 9781501341274
ISBN (Print)9781501341250
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameMaterial Culture of Art and Design
PublisherBloomsbury Academic


  • sculpture
  • decorative arts
  • art history


Dive into the research topics of 'Sculpture and the decorative: towards a more integrated mode of art history writing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this