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Collection: Decorative Arts



Sparton Table Radio "Normandie" Pitcher Tray or Waiter Flask Cabinet Vase Leg Splint Vase Folding Invalid Chair Cabinet-Secretary Weil-Worgelt Study Century Vase Side Chair (Taburete) Pedestal Vase Corner Chair (Modern Gothic style) Armchair (Egyptian Revival style) Flask Baby Oil Pourer Clock Pepper Shaker Table Salt Shaker Wallpaper and Border Exhibitor Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano Coffee Pot Armchair Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair Armchair "Pedestal" Armchair and Seat Cushion Salt Shaker


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, we acquired our first period room; although there are twenty-six period rooms installed in the Museum, because of ongoing construction only five that date from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth century are currently on view. During the 1930s, we began actively exhibiting modern design, focusing on design's relationship to industry.

Our collection of decorative arts is exhibited in our fourth floor galleries and period rooms, and on the fifth floor in the Luce Center for American Art, which includes the Luce Visible Storage • Study Center.

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