Apart from an added chapter, this book derives from a session of the College Art Association 2005 conference, entitled "Reading, Writing, and Consuming Design: Commodities and Their Reception in Literature." The book's altogether more ambitious title, Objects, Audiences and Literatures: Alternative Narratives in the History of Design, promises it will treat the ways audiences contribute to the meanings of objects, and the way "literatures" (in the plural) can be shown to inform understanding of objects, and it will offer "alternative narratives." These titular "narratives" presumably include the five chapters in this book, but they might also be "narratives" presented in the sources here used to illuminate understanding of cultural artifacts, or indeed the narratives that objects can be shown to communicate. To what, exactly, are these "narratives" alternatives? Mainstream design history, such as it is? This is a big promise on which to deliver, and the title demands that it is the one by which the success of the volume should be measured.
|Studies in the Decorative Arts
|Published - 2008