Art & Architecture

Histories of Ornament: From Global to Local

    Contributions by
  • Michele Bacci
  • Anna Contadini
  • Thomas B.F. Cummins
  • Chanchal Dadlani
  • Daniela del Pesco
  • Vittoria Di Palma
  • Anne Dunlop
  • Marzia Faietti
  • María Judith Feliciano
  • Antoine Picon
  • Jonathan Hay
  • Christopher P. Heuer
  • Rémi Labrusse
  • Marco Rosario Nobile
  • Spyros Papapetros
  • Oya Pancaroğlu
  • David Pullins
  • Jennifer T. Roberts
  • David J. Roxburgh
  • Avinoam Shalem
  • Hashim Sarkis
  • Robin Schuldenfrei
  • Gerhard Wolf

A groundbreaking exploration of the significance of ornament in art and architectural history around the world


Mar 8, 2016
8.5 x 11.5 in.
206 color + 25 b/w illus.
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This lavishly illustrated volume is the first major global history of ornament from the Middle Ages to today. Crossing historical and geographical boundaries in unprecedented ways and considering the role of ornament in both art and architecture, Histories of Ornament offers a nuanced examination that integrates medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and modern Euroamerican traditions with their Islamic, Indian, Chinese, and Mesoamerican counterparts. At a time when ornament has re-emerged in architectural practice and is a topic of growing interest to art and architectural historians, the book reveals how the long history of ornament illuminates its global resurgence today.

Organized by thematic sections on the significance, influence, and role of ornament, the book addresses ornament’s current revival in architecture, its historiography and theories, its transcontinental mobility in medieval and early modern Europe and the Middle East, and its place in the context of industrialization and modernism. Throughout, Histories of Ornament emphasizes the portability and politics of ornament, figuration versus abstraction, cross-cultural dialogues, and the constant negotiation of local and global traditions.

Featuring original essays by more than two dozen scholars from around the world, this authoritative and wide-ranging book provides an indispensable reference on the histories of ornament in a global context.

Contributors include: Michele Bacci (Fribourg University); Anna Contadini (University of London); Thomas B. F. Cummins (Harvard); Chanchal Dadlani (Wake Forest); Daniela del Pesco (Universita degli Studi Roma Tre); Vittoria Di Palma (USC); Anne Dunlop (University of Melbourne); Marzia Faietti (University of Bologna); María Judith Feliciano (independent scholar); Finbarr Barry Flood (NYU); Jonathan Hay (NYU); Christopher P. Heuer (Clark Art); Rémi Labrusse (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense); Gülru Necipoğlu (Harvard); Marco Rosario Nobile (University of Palermo); Oya Pancaroğlu (Bosphorus University); Spyros Papapetros (Princeton); Alina Payne (Harvard); Antoine Picon (Harvard); David Pullins (Harvard); Jennifer L. Roberts (Harvard); David J. Roxburgh (Harvard); Hashim Sarkis (MIT); Robin Schuldenfrei (Courtauld); Avinoam Shalem (Columbia); and Gerhard Wolf (KHI, Florence).