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The Grammar of Ornament, contains over 100 colour plates which beautifully illustrate a wealth of ornamental patterns from around the world, which spans a historical heritage from the Stone Age and Ancient Egypt to nineteenth-century Europe.
Owen Jones completed the Preface to the original edition of The Grammar of Ornament on the 15th December, 1856, In it he wrote All that I have proposed to myself in forming the collection which I have ventured to call the Grammar of Ornament, has been to select a few of the most prominent types (of Ornamental Art) in certain styles closely connected with each other, and in which certain laws appear to reign independently of the individual peculiarities of each. I have ventured to hope that, in thus bringing into immediate juxtaposition the many forms of beauty which each style of ornament presents, I might aid in arresting that unfortunate tendency of our time to be content with copying, ,,, the forms peculiar to any bygone age, without attempting to ascertain, … the peculiar circumstances which rendered an ornament beautiful, because it was appropriate.
Owen Jones work inspired William Morris, the Arts-and-Crafts movement, and the Victoria & Albert Museum; today it will have the same effect on modern architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and students of decorative arts.
THE AUTHOR Owen Jones, 1809-1874, was an English architect and art decorator who made the first systematic study of Hispano-Moresque art. He was the Superintendent of Works for the prestigious London Exhibition of 1851 and was in charge of decoration for the Crystal Palace in London. Throughout his lifetime, he exerted considerable influence on the evolution and development of decorative arts.
Students of the decorative arts will find this book and the authors comments on the work of the various nations of prime interest . Monumental is an apt description of Jones book, which contains plentiful examples of every known historic styles at that time.
We look forward to seeing the next great work to be completed from the many new discoveries in decoration from Ancient times to the present day. We have given this book our mumfordebooks Timeless Book Award for 2006 . My challenge now is to any book publishers; not to re-publish and reprint facsimiles of old books, but to encourage new research into filling the 150 year gap left by Owen Jones.