Christopher Dresser, The Art of Decorative Design

Figure 6. Ornamental motifs that evoke the “mental conception” of a leaf-bud. Plate II from Dresser, _The Art of Decorative Design_ (1862). Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries.Expanding on his studies of botany and ornament, the designer Christopher Dresser publishes The Art of Decorative Design, in which he argues that ornamentists should look to the laws that orchestrate plant growth and the laws that condition how the human mind reacts to form. Dresser’s “scientific” approach to design engages with the then-new empirical inquiries into aesthetic perception, the physiological or psychological aesthetics. Exact month of publication unknown.

Image: Plate II from Dresser, The Art of Decorative Design (1862). Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries.

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1862

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