Decorative Arts and Furniture

Collection Description

Key developments in North American and European decorative arts from 1885–1945 are covered in the collection. Furniture, ceramics, glass, and metal-ware holdings demonstrate the evolution of styles during this period while showcasing the work of important designers, from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Peter Behrens to Alvar Aalto. In addition, these holdings reveal the ideological and political purposes that can be served by the decorative arts—for example in propaganda porcelains produced in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution, or Italian furniture made from materials that expressed the values of economic self-sufficiency espoused by the Fascist Regime. Complementary materials include a large number of books, journals, and portfolios in The Wolfsonian’s library that provide information about how objects were marketed and used.