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Plain & Simple,

Fine & Fancy

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Plain & Simple, Fine & Fancy

A Survey of Alabama Decorative Arts

Plain & Simple, Fine & Fancy 
A Survey of Alabama Decorative Arts

Decorative Arts are creative expressions on everyday utilitarian objects making them both functional and beautiful. Research continues documenting Alabama's rich Decorative Arts heritage and today this knowledge imparts a sense of pride in and respect for our ancestors, recognizing their struggle to create comfortable and attractive environments for themselves. These surviving artifacts accompanied by their histories will ensure that this heritage will be appreciated and preserved for generations to come.

These artifacts are a cross section of what has survived and are a sampling of what was found in the past in Alabama homes alongside imported and machine-made products. They reveal the skill and ingenuity of the artisans who made them. These artifacts were once commonplace, constantly used, and scarcely noticed. Today, their meaning comes from the history of their ownership and their function reflects the patterns of life, economic factors, and social ideals and customs of those times.

Funding provided by the Alabama State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts.


Alabama Decorative Arts Presentations


Mt. Ida Quilt Project: One Community, Two quilts, Three Centuries

Sarah Bliss Wright


Slinging Mud: Alabama Potters and Politics in the Late 19th Century

Joey Brackner


A Brief History of Confederate Gunboat Quilts

Dr. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch


Seeing Double, Stereoptic Views of Alabama

Michael McEachern


Decorative Arts of the Gulf South

Sarah Duggan

Wood Panel
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About Us...The mission of Landmarks Foundation is to preserve, interpret, and present Central Alabama's history, architecture, and culture. As Montgomery's historic preservation organization, Landmarks Foundation manages Old Alabama Town for the City of Montgomery.
To receive membership information about joining Landmarks Foundation, please fill out the information below...

Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery

Old Alabama Town

301 Columbus Street

Montgomery, AL 36104


Group tours of Old Alabama Town available by calling 334.240.4500 or

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Other Decorative Arts Resources

19th Century America, Furniture and other Decorative Arts, by Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exhibition in Celebration of the 100 anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970.

Alabama Folk Pottery by Joey Brackner. University of Alabama Press, 2006.

Alabama Quilts, Wilderness through World War II, 1682-1950 by Mary Elizabeth Johnson Huff and Carole King. University Press of Mississippi, 2020. 

Made in Alabama, A State Legacy by Birmingham Museum of Art, 1996.

Neat Pieces by Deanne Levinson/Atlanta History Center, 2006.


The Landmarks Foundation would like to thank the owners of Kress on Dexter for hosting the Plain and Simple, Fine and Fancy Decorative Arts Exhibit. Without community support like this, Landmarks couldn't accomplish its goals.

Also, thank you to the Alabama State Council on the Arts for funding this exhibit. Their continued support is appreciated and their programs are essential to passing on Alabama's culture and history.


Kress on Dexter

39 Dexter Avenue

Montgomery, AL 36104

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