Synopses & Reviews
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1876, after its home city hosted the Centennial, with the primary goal of acquiring important examples of contemporary design and decorative arts. Collecting Modern
explores for the first time the development and significance of this extraordinary collection, making unprecedented use of the Museum's archival resources, much of which has never been published. This overview reveals changing attitudes toward collecting over time, as Philadelphia (historically a conservative city) and its flagship museum were confronted with the dramatic aesthetic shifts heralded by modernism.
From being the largest institutional collector of Tiffany glass in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to coaxing Florence Knoll Bassett out of retirement in 2005 to design her own exhibition, the Museum has made a unique contribution to the history of design through its collections and programs. Providing a thoughtful analysis of the Museum's history as a steward of contemporary decorative arts, this beautiful publication is a vital reference for anyone interested in the history of museums, decorative arts, and design.
rative arts. The volume covers the Renaissance to Art Deco and includes a one-page style chart, a section of color plates, and an album of ornaments and classical orders. 66 illustrations, 16 in full color.
Understanding antiques requires knowledge of a specialized vocabulary that tells initiates what something is, where it came from, and when it was made. AntiqueSpeak provides this essential information in concise but illuminating essays that cover almost a millennium of styles (such as Baroque and Art Deco), materials (glass, ivory), types of objects (furniture, toys and games), specialized areas of collecting (folk art, Judaica), and concerns involved with acquiring and caring for antiques (auctions, condition, marks and signatures). In addition, the book includes a handy one-page StyleChart; a section of color plates (one for each major style); an album of ornaments and classical orders, represented by line drawings; labeled drawings of selected furniture types; an introduction that explains how to use the book; and an invaluable index that provides dates and nationalities for all the designers, craftsmen, artists, and others discussed in the entries.
About the Author
Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger is Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.