Sculpture and the Decorative in Britain and Europe: Seventeenth Century to Contemporary

Research output: Book/ReportBook


  • Imogen Hart (Editor)
  • Margit Thøfner
  • Michael Hatt
  • Katie Faulkner
  • Anna Ferrari
  • Nina Lübbren
  • Bridget O’Gorman
  • Melanie Polledri
  • Marjan Sterckx
  • Lisa Wainwright
  • Imogen Hart
  • Laura Gray

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Warwick
  • Royal Academy of Arts
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
  • Ghent University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago


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
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages348
ISBN (Electronic)9781501341267, 9781501341274
ISBN (Print)9781501341250
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2020
EventSculpture and the Decorative Arts session - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Apr 20168 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameMaterial Culture of Art and Design
PublisherBloomsbury Academic


  • Sculpture, Decorative arts