This text offers a comprehensive visual survey of the designs that have had the greatest impact on the applied arts in the Western world. Covering more than 500 years, and with over 3000 images, the key elements of the Western decorative arts are explored chronologically, including chapters on the Baroque era, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Decorative Modernism, Art Deco, Modernism and the Space Age. Each chapter begins with a broad introduction to the era, summarizing its key style features. Within the chapter there follows close examination of individual objects, including ceramics, glass, silver and metalwork, furniture and textiles. All the items illustrated are chosen as typical examples of the arts under exploration and together form a visual vocabulary of each design movement.