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Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
(1898)

XVI: bric-á-brac,   pp. 184-195


Page 195

                     Bric-~- Brac
                                                            '95
by being more valuable than the space it occupie& - more valu-
able, that is, to the general scheme of decoration.
 Those who call this view arbitrary or pedantic should consider,
first, the importance of plain surfaces in decoration, and secondly
the tendency of overcrowding to minimize the effect of each sep-
arate object, however striking in itself.  Eye and mind are limited
in their receptivity to a certain number of simultaneous impres-
sions, and the Oriental habit of displaying only one or two objects
of art at a time shows a more delicate sense of these limitations
than the Western passion for multiplying effects.
 To sum up, then, a room should depend for its adornment on
general harmony of parts, and on the artistic quality of such ne-
cessities as lamps, screens, bindings, and furniture.   Whoever
goes beyond these essentials should limit himself in the choice
of ornaments to the "labors of the master-artist's hand."


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