The Grammar of Ornament

The grammar of ornament, illustrated by examples from various styles of ornament.
Adoption Amount: $2,750
Category: Build and Access the Collection
Location: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

The grammar of ornament

By Owen Jones. London: Published by Day and Son, 1856.

This was the first encyclopedic pattern book that examined ornament from a variety of cultures and historic periods. Jones created the Grammar to educate designers and stressed the need for a study of historic styles in order to prepare for an ornamental language suitable to the new industrial age. The Grammar was extremely influential in design schools in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and is still in print today, maintaining its relevance as a source of inspiration for contemporary designers. It is also one of the nineteenth century's great monuments of chromolithographic printing.

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