decorative art


Definition of decorative art 

1 : art that is concerned primarily with the creation of useful items (such as furniture, ceramics, or textiles) usually used in plural

2 : objects of decorative art

Examples of decorative art in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Originally from Cherokee Park in Louisville, Cowan owns a fine and decorative arts auction house in Cincinnati. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "What unusual finds did 'Antiques Roadshow' come across in Louisville?," 25 May 2018 But dealers and collectors said the robust art market and the frenzy building over the couple’s 1,562 lots of fine and decorative art could push the sale total far higher, past $1 billion, which would set a record for an estate auction. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "An Estate Sale With the Rockefeller Touch," 5 May 2018 The collection of about 1,400 paintings, sculptures, works on paper and decorative arts — including works by Rembrandt, Goya, Vermeer and Renoir — has more than doubled since the Frick opened in 1935. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "Frick’s Expansion Is Approved by Landmarks Preservation Board," 26 June 2018 Is there a longer-range plan to sell that property, which Barnes filled with decorative art and Pennsylvania Dutch ironwork? Stephan Salisbury,, "Barnes Foundation says St. Joe's lease deal does not mean sales are in the works," 19 Mar. 2018 The V&A Museum, for one, checked off two of those boxes: The decorative arts museum unveiled a $70 million addition last summer and also curated major exhibits on Pink Floyd, plywood and the fashion designer Balenciaga . Andrea Sachs,, "Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the Louvre, are tops in visitorship survey," 26 June 2018 Taking over the Park Avenue Armory from October 22-26, the shopping event that's widely known for its decorative arts' dealers is also a destination for jewelry collectors. Sarah Bray, Town & Country, "TEFAF, the Grand Dame of Art and Antique Fairs, Comes to the U.S.," 21 Oct. 2016 Features antique and vintage furniture, textiles, jewelry, silver,ephemera, Kentucky crafted pieces of furniture and decorative arts and more. The Courier-Journal, "75+ fun things, including Halloween creeps, for week of Sept. 21-27," 20 Sep. 2017 The craze for exoticism in the decorative arts reached a fever pitch; textiles were littered with pagodas and conical hats catering to growing tastes for Japonism. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "This Textile Has Been All Over Vogue—Here’s Where It Came From," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decorative art.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of decorative art

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decorative art

Share decorative art

Statistics for decorative art

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decorative art

The first known use of decorative art was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Comments on decorative art

What made you want to look up decorative art? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!