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Plain or Fancy: Restraint and Exuberance in the Decorative Arts

Exhibition objects

Plain or Fancy?

Restraint and Exuberance in the Decorative Arts

February 26, 2013–August 18, 2013

Accompanied by an interactive feature

Modernism was not the first movement to cast a shadow on ornament and adornment, though it was the most effective one. This exhibition contrasts austere works of art with ornate ones, encouraging viewers to examine their own responses and to consider them in the light of different stylistic imperatives of the past. Drawn from the Museum's collection of European sculpture and decorative arts, the exhibition follows the theme from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.