There’s long been a stylistic rift between minimalism and decorativeness — apparent in the differences in our clothes, our furniture, even infographics. One camp leans more toward function, the other: fashion. But really, aesthetic design helps with functionality and vice versa. Our choices in these matters instead boil down to many different considerations that fall on a stylistic scale.
Plain or Fancy? Restraint and Exuberance in the Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art helps viewers consider their own preferences and biases. The exhibition contains 40 works, plain and fancy, from the museum’s European decorative arts collection. After looking at enough of them, the line between simple and ornate blurs a bit, just as many of us don’t follow the dichotomy of plain versus fancy in our own styles, but rather a mixture of both.
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