The decorative arts are any of those arts that are concerned chiefly with the design and decoration of utilitarian objects, as opposed to objects made for purely aesthetic reasons. Ceramics, furniture, glassware, metalware, textiles, and other such goods are the objects most commonly associated with the decorative arts.
The collection of decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum consists chiefly of objects made in France from the mid-17th century through the end of the 18th century. During this time, French art evolved stylistically in three phases that are usually identified by the terms Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical. Sequentially, the phases correspond approximately to the reigns of three French kings: Louis XIV (reigned 1643–1715), Louis XV (reigned 1723–1774), and Louis XVI (reigned 1774 until his deposition during the French Revolution in 1792). The collection also holds decorative arts made in other European countries, primarily Germany and Italy.
The decorative arts include objects, such as ceramics, furniture, glass, metalwork, textiles, and woodwork, that are made for both functional and aesthetic reasons.
ceramics—objects made of baked clay, such as bowls and vases
furniture—objects that equip a room for living or working, such as chairs and tables
glass—objects made of glass, such as candelabra and mirrors
metalwork—objects made of metal, such as chandeliers and inkstands
textiles—objects made of fabric, such as carpets and tapestries
woodwork—structural objects made of wood, such as floors and paneling