All Collections > Collection Guide
See all Images | Search Collection:

Ornament and Pattern: Pre-Victorian to Art Deco

Several thousand images from nearly 100 volumes on decorative art and surface ornament, mainly portfolios of plates, pattern books, and scrapbook compilations.

Collection Contents  |  Related Subjects

1. Papilio philoxenus, Inde; 2. Troides priamus-poseidon, Nouvelle Guinee; 3. Troides priamus-poseidon, Nouvelle Guinee; 4. Heliconius antiochus, Amazone; 5. Catagramma mionina, Colombie. Digital ID: 74793 1. Papilio philoxenus, Inde; 2. Troides priamus-poseidon, Nouvelle Guinee; 3. Troides priamus-poseidon, Nouvelle Guinee; 4. Heliconius antiochus, Amazone; 5. Catagramma mionina, Colombie. Digital ID: 74793

Collection History

The digital collection draws upon the Library's exhibition, "Victorian Ornament: Excerpts from Design History," Dec. 9, 1989 - March 10, 1990, Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and supplements it with additional works through the 1920s. Holdings from the Victorian period, 1839-1900, are particularly strong covering America and Western Europe; these are often pattern or illustrated advice books. Other movements with representative, and often rare, titles include: Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, and Art Deco.

Background

The Art & Architecture Collection has long been a repository of unusual plate books, with a core antiquarian collection dating to the initial creation of the Art Division. Many came from the private library of the architect Thomas Hastings, of the partnership, Carrere and Hastings, responsible for the Library's landmark classical revival building on Fifth Avenue. In the second half of the twentieth century, the department acquired additional significant titles retrospectively in response to growing recognition of the collection's depth and rarity.

Library Division(s)

NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the vast collections of The New York Public Library, including drawings, illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.