Decorative arts are traditionally defined as works in ceramics, wood, glass, glass, metal or textile. The field includes ceramics, furniture, furnishing, interior design, and architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the “fine arts” namely painting, drawing, and photography, and large scale sculpture.

Some distinguish between decorative and fine arts based on functionality intended purpose, importance, status as a unique creation, or single artist producing. For the purpose of posterity the decorative arts collection, Inc, was created in 1982 for the purpose of collecting preserving and displaying decorative painting in wood, glass, metal and textile. The Philadelphia Moslem of arts houses examples of arts of historical and contemporary significant of an artistic merit. The museum provides exhibition and educational programmes for the public to increase their appreciation and understanding of decorative arts, its heritage, methods and techniques.

From medieval stained glass to 21st century bronze furniture, the decorative arts collection includes; American and European period rooms, furniture, metal work, glass, textiles, and ceramics. Decorative arts have been an integral part of museums collections from the start. Today, the collection contains incomparable works conveying the highest artistic achievements of European and American art. Decorative arts greatest collection is in the 18th century ceramics silver, furniture and interiors. It formed a focal point in its collection, such as European pottery and porcelain, English silver, French furniture and Europeans and American period rooms from the middle of the century. Great artists had been born out of this great art. Artists like Mackintosh Charles Rennie are products of this great art.

Mackintosh Charles Rennie, born in June 7th, 1968, Glasgow-Dec. 10, 1928, London Scottish artist and designer who was prominent in the Arts and Crafts Movements in Great Britain.

He was apprenticed to a local, artistic, John Hutchinson, and attended evening classes at the Glasgow school of art. In j1989 he joined the firm of Honeyman and Keppie, becoming a partner in 1904.

In collaboration with three other students, one of whom, Margaret Macdonald, became his wife in 1900. Mackintosh achieved an international reputation in the 1980s as a designer of unorthodox posters, craftwork and furniture. In contrast to contemporary fashion his work was light elegant and original as exemplified by four remarkable tearooms he designed in Glasgow (1896-1904) and other domestic interiors of the early 1900s.

Mackintosh’s chief architectural projects were the Glasgow school of art (1986 1909) considered the first original example of Art Nouveau architecture in Great Britain; represented thus;

1. `The 1901 International exhibition, Glasgow (1898) and

2. The Hauseines Junsfreundes


3. The Windyhill, Kilmacolm (1899-1901)

4. The Hill House Helens burgh (1902),

5. The Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow (1904)

6. The Scotland Street School (1904-06).

Although, all have some traditional characteristics they reveal a mind of exceptional   inventiveness and aesthetic perception. By 1914 he had virtually ceased to practice and thereafter devoted himself to water ciolour painting. At about this time Art nouveau flourished.

Art nouveau, an ornamental style of art the flourished between 1890 and 1910 through out Europe and the United States. Art nouveau is characterized by its use of alon sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design jewelry and glass designed posters and illustrations. It was a deliberate attempt to create a new style free of the imitative historicism that dominated much of 19th century art and designed Art Nouveau developed first in England and soon spread to the Continent, where it was called Jugendstill in German, Sezessionstil in Austria Stile Floreale or Stile Liberty in Italy, and Modernismo or Modernista in Spain. The term Art Nouveau was coined by a gallery in Paris that exhibited much of this work.

In England the style grew out of a tradition of linearism that began with the sinuous drawings of the poet-artist William Blake in the early 19th century. Its immediate precursors were the Aestheticism of the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, who depended heavily on the expressive quality of organic line, and the Arts and Crafts Movement of William Morris, who established the importance of a vital style is the applied arts. On the Continent it was also influenced by experiments with expressive line by the painters Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The movement was also partly inspired by a vogue for the linear patterns of Japanese prints.

The distinguishing ornament characteristic of Art Nouveau is its undulating, asymmetrical line often taking the form of flower stalks  and buds, vine tendrils, insect wings, and other delicate and sinuous natural objects; the line may be elegant and graceful or infused with powerfully rhythmic and whip like force. In the graphic arts the line subordinates all other pictorial elements-form, texture, space and colour-to its own decorative effect. In architecture and other plastics arts the whole of the three-dimensional form becomes engulfed in the organic, linear rhythm, creating a fusion between structure and ornament.

Architecture particularly shows this synthesis of ornaments and structure; a liberal combination of materials-ironwork, glass, ceramic, and brickwork-was employed, for example, in the creation of unified interiors in which columns and beams became thick vines with spreading tendrils and windows were both openings for light and air and membranous outgrowths of the organic whole. This approach was directly opposed to the traditional architectural values of reason and clarity of structure.

After 1910, Art Nouveau appeared old fashioned and limited and was generally abandoned as a distinct decorative style. The style was of great importance, however, in moving toward the 20th century aesthetic of unity of design.