A 10th-Anniversary Collection

Editorial by John Fleming

THIS ISSUE OF ORNAMENTUM follows the technique of mosaic construction through the material history of the decorative arts in the production of objects. The picture it provides leads in many directions into the imaginative and creative things we make, collect, preserve, discard, and destroy. Each of these objects opens upon multiple perspectives in terms of material, form, and necessity. They serve as placeholders, past and present, in our existence as participants in a particular cultural ecosystem.

The improbable function of chestnut-crushing clogs, through the artful display of insects revealing the Victorian taste for nature tamed, to the documentary calligraphy of family history at Kings Landing, New Brunswick, and other examples, our contributors follow the fortunes of the decorative impulse in a thousand different ways.


IN CELEBRATION of our tenth anniversary of publication, Ornamentum asked you, our readers, to share your personal stories about objects of special significance to you. Collectors, curators, makers, and educators from across the country have responded with a variety of narratives, which they have each shared in their own unique voice.

Individually, these stories offer fascinating insight into objects in public and private collections. Cumulatively, they represent the broader national significance of the decorative arts in Canada.