Skip Navigation

Collection: Decorative Arts



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


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.

...Show More