Visual Delight is a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art investigating the role of ornament in modern and contemporary design. Despite arguments against ornament, decorative elements never were truly fazed out of modern design work. In the 1960s Robert Venturi’s influential writings renewed intellectual interest in the purpose of ornament and patterning, his argument for ornament as symbol having profound effect. The Memphis School would later find great pleasure in the use of abstract patterning. Through 30 objects, Visual Delight tackles the issues and presents key works to guide the discussion.

On view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through September, 2009.

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