Celebrating Decorative Arts & Design!         Célébrons les arts décoratifs et du design !

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                                                                                                                                                            Douglas Coupland, Pacific 2023, Fiberglass and epoxy surfboard, detail image courtesy of the artist


Photo: Sis Weld at Home, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Donald Mclean

Member Event: The Sis Bunting Weld Private Collectors Series – Sunday, September 24, 2023
Tour of Sis Bunting Weld’s Home and
Private Garden!

Please join Sis in her beautiful home and garden in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL). Together we will discover her hidden garden, tour the house and learn about her favourite pieces of decorative arts objects and furniture. Sis is a cherished member of the CSDA, and a regular fixture in the arts and culture realm, having served on both local and national Boards such as the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts, Shaw Theatre, National Youth Orchestra and Ontario Heritage Board, to name a few. Sis has a gift for bringing colour, form and texture together to create an exquisite palate for the eye, both inside and outdoors. 

CSDA/CCAD 41st Symposium and General Meeting (Sep 8-10, 2023)

Super Natural: Place and Practice - Vancouver 

CSDA/CCAD Symposium Sep 8, 2023

Marian Bradshaw Lecture Series - Accidental Career: Public Art

Artist, Author, Innovator Douglas Coupland gives us some insights into his experience with public art. Public art is a specific art genre with its own professional and critical discourse and is visually and physically accessible to the public.

“Public art is like the nonfiction version of art. Instead of working in a private personal universe, public art is tethered to the real world in some way. Public art is also an amazing way to learn about new ways of making objects, as well as meeting new people along the way. My goal has always been to make life feel like art school, and public art has been an enormous part of this drive.”

View the program itinerary.

CSDA/CCAD In-Person Special Event - Thursday June 8, 2023

A Tour of Massey College 

The CSDA is delighted to offer its members a private tour of Massey College. Nestled in the heart of the University of Toronto's St. George campus, this architectural gem was designed by renowned architect Ron Thom as a place for graduate students to live, work, and socialise in a setting "where people and ideas intersect," as the college motto so aptly puts it.

Image: Dining Room, Massey College, Toronto. Photo by Steven Evans.

CSDA YP&C Explore Series - Thursday, May 18, 2023

Lani Adeoye: Designed by Stories

On Thursday, May 18th Lani Adeoye discussed the beginnings of her career, her design inspirations and where she is headed next.

For more information on Lani’s work, visit her website at studio-lani.com

Image above: Ekaabo Collection - Debuted @ Milan Design Week 2022

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.  

CSDA Sundays: The Expert Series - Sunday May 7, 2023

Multiple Affinities: Art Botany in British Design Reform: 1835-1870

On Sunday, May 7th Dr. Sarah Alford provided a lecture about how early nineteenth-century Britain natural philosophers found themselves in a crisis: A rapid influx of exotic plants had begun to defy and confuse the orders of classification. Specimens were arriving in nurseries and conservatories that couldn’t possibly exist. To cope, botanists invented a new and unstable Victorian taxonomy called the Natural System. This presentation addresses the unsung role the Natural System played in the emergence of Victorian design reform, and suggests that what design reformers, such as Dyce, Redgrave, Dresser, and Owens deemed appropriate for the surface decoration of carpets, jugs, wallpaper, and furniture, was not a rejection of nature, but was rather, an embrace of botanical illustrations and diagrams as sources of fantasy and imagination.

Image: Richard Redgrave, Wellspring Vase. 1847Victoria and Albert Museum.

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.  

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.  

CSDA Sundays: The Expert Series - Sunday April 30, 2023

Constitutional Symbols of Turtle Island/Canada

That heraldic symbols are central in the affirmation - cultural and visual - of Canada's constitutional order makes sense in the contexts of colonial and national histories that saw settler political systems put in place.  As Canada prepares for the coronation of HRH Charles III, there will be necessary, concomitant changes to the visual representation of the country's constitutional monarchy. This panel will consider the role, place and implication of the symbols of Canadian constitutional culture and sovereignty, especially given the urgent work of decolonization and what seem to be shifting ideas about the relevance of the current constitutional system and the question of what symbols can best communicate the realities of the contemporary state.

The moderated panel discussion was led by Dr. Michael Prokopow with Dr. Robert Falcon-Ouellette, Bruce Patterson, and Bill Reddick. 

Image: Arms of Mary May Simon

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.  


CSDA YP&C Evening Tour at MOCA Toronto - Friday, April 28, 2023

Tour Athena Papadoupolous and Toronto based design studio Susan for Susan @ MOCA

On Friday, April 28th the YP&C Committee hosted an evening tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto's (MOCA) third floor installation featuring artist Athena Papadoupolous and Toronto based design studio Susan for Susan.

Athena Papadopoulous: The New Alphabet

For her first institutional solo exhibition in Canada, MOCA Toronto has commissioned Greek/Canadian artist Athena Papadopoulos to create a site-specific exhibition of large-scale sculptural works, generated in response to MOCA’s columned space and the local context it inhabits.

Image above: Athena Papadoupolous

Susan for Susan - Trade Show:

Employing a visual language that draws on industrial materials and fabrication methods, the collaborative design practice of John and Kevin Watts, aka Susan For Susan, balances rationale with experimentation to explore the distinction between sculpture and product design. Their exhibit at MOCA arranges a set of design propositions for an apartment interior, suspended from a gantry system.

Image below: Susan for Susan 

Ornamentum Lecture Series - Thursday, April 13, 2023

Craftivism since 2001  

On Thursday, April 13th, craft historian and writer, Mary Callahan (MC) Baumstark, in explored the ancient and contemporary roots of craftivism, specifically in the UK, Australia, Canada, and US since 2001. This presentation touched on popular and academic understandings of craftivism, as well as the different types of craftivism, before offering practical solutions for engaging with, curating, and supporting craftivist projects.

Image: MC Baumstark's The Menstrual Brooch Project, 2019

The recording for this lecture can be found in the "Learn" section of the website. HERE

CSDA In-Person Special Event - Friday, February 24, 2023

Canadian Modern at the ROM

On Friday, February 24th, guest curator Dr. Rachel Gotlieb, Dr. Alexander Palmer and Dr. Arlene Gehmacher provided their insights into the current exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.  

Canadian Modern, which opened in December to rave reviews, features 100 items from the ROM’s permanent collection, ranging from the mid-20th Century to the present. Exhibits will feature the work of more than 70 designers and 40 manufacturers and will include ceramics, electronics, fashion, furniture, glass, graphic design, jewelry and other objects that are both useful and significant from a design perspective.

Image: Steamer Chair, 1978, Thomas Lamb (1938-1997), designer, DuBarry, manufacturer. Steam bent maple plywood. Image ©ROM.

CSDA Sundays: The Expert Series - Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Psychology of Collecting

On Sunday February 5th, Dr. Michael Prokopow, Nicholas Bell, president and CEO of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Peter Gorham, an educator and collector in Fredericton N.B. and Susan Golets, who, as a young adult, observed her parents assemble renowned collections of Kakiemon and Kakiemon-inspired European porcelains considered the question of what has been called the "psychology of collecting".  The experiences of these individuals – personal and institutional – illustrated the array of motivations often tied to collecting, including the search for objects as exercises in stewardship, self-fashioning connoisseurship, social history, aesthetics and taste preference.

Image: Hydra jug (photo credit Nicolas Bell).

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website. 

CSDA Sundays: Collectors Series - Sunday, January 15, 2023

The TASTE OF THE EXOTIC: Snuff Boxes Made from Foreign Materials

On Sunday January 15th, 2023, Dr. Dorothea Burstyn walked us through the centuries with her stunning collection of snuff boxes. Although taking snuff has for the most part been relegated to the annals of history, the practice has left a legacy that reflects the exquisite style and skilled craftsmanship of bygone eras. By monitoring international auctions and corresponding with other collectors, Dr. Burstyn has assembled a diverse and delightful array of tiny treasures made from wood, horn, tortoiseshell, semi-precious stones and other interesting materials, their common denominator being the sterling silver that encases them and enhances their beauty.

Image above: Shell snuff boxes, all unmarked, middle of 18th century.

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

YP&C Meet the Artist: Zavisha Chromicz  - Thursday, December 1, 2022

On Thursday December 1st, 2022, our Young Professionals & Creatives Meet the Artist event saw the decorative arts/material culture community meet and share the experiences of Zavisha Chromicz's new exhibition - Mother Load: The challenge of suturing the mitochondrial tear at the Paul Petro Gallery on Queen Street West.

Zavisha has worked on numerous community and fibre-based projects that explore trauma, healing through pleasure, decadence and queer family making, and colonialism, sexual violence, and disability justice. From 2003-2006 Chromicz was a member and co-facilitator of West Side Stitches, a queer punk makers collective formed by Will Munro and Jeremy Laing. Participants used and taught stitching, embroidery, applique, faggoting and many other fabric art and costuming techniques to make street art, costumes, installations and public art. From 2015-2016 Chromicz collaborated with Leroi Newbold on the Freedom Fighter Puppetry series for Black Lives Matter, Toronto.

Special Event: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Screening - Tuesday, November 29, 2023

On Tuesday November 29th, the CSDA held its first movie screening at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto, showing Grethe Meyer: The Queen of Danish Design, "The story of one of Denmark’s most important designers, what she created, what her obsession with perfection cost her, her brilliant legacy.

For 40 years, the Danish architect and designer Grethe Meyer designed glass, cutlery, vases and textiles and became one of Denmark’s most important designers. Meyer was responsible for classics such as the Royal Copenhagen Blue Edge set, the Firepot stoneware series and a series of modern shelves, designed together with the lover Børge Mogensen. Yet few people outside of design circles know who she was. In interviews with people around Meyer, and in cinematic reconstructions of formative moments in her life, the story is told of a woman in a man’s world whose functional designs for the home are still used today. But the story of Meyer is also the story of a perfectionist and demanding workaholic who strove for precision and simplicity.” (Credit: CPH:Dox)

CSDA Sundays: The Sis Bunting Weld Private Collectors Series - Sunday, November 6, 2022

A Private Collector's Living Room - The Psychology of a Collector

On Sunday, November 6th, this engaging CSDA members-only, in-person event took place in Toronto. Through the presentation of his eclectic collection, the Collector conveyed what he feels are some of the psychological processes involved in acquiring, displaying and selling art. The presentation took the form of a small, guided tour through his living room and den and included: Mid Century Modern furniture, ceramics, glass and other MCM works; coconut shells carved by prisoners held in a notorious fortress complex on the Yucatan peninsula during the 19th and 20th centuries; miniature wooden and argillite First Nation totem poles; historical and contemporary Canadian art; and more.

Ornamentum Lecture Series - Thursday, October 20, 2022

Retailing Radio: How the T. Eaton Company Sold the Idea of Radio in 1920s-1930s Canada

On Thursday, October 20th Dr. Michael Windover considered the role of the T. Eaton Company in promoting and fostering radio culture in Canada. It will look especially at radio catalogues produced by the retailer as visual evidence of how the new medium was imagined and sold to Canadian publics. (Note: Based on the article found in Ornamentum Spring/Summer 2022

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Videos on the "Learn" tab of the website. HERE 

CSDA Sundays: Makers Series - Sunday, October 16, 2022

Transforming with Glass with Glass Artist Tanya Lyons

On Sunday, October 16th, this fascinating event was held in collaboration with the Sandra Ainsley Gallery and in celebration of The Year of Glass. The presentation and discussion followed Glass Artist Tanya Lyons’ path with glass, detailing how she has grown and transformed with the material, from education to solo exhibitions, commissions, special projects, to her recent Canada Council for the Arts grant project and the new work that is coming out of all this.

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

40th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting 

Historical and Cultural Treasures - Decorative Arts in Montréal

Trésors historiques et culturels - Arts décoratifs à Montréal 

September 23-25, 2022   

CSDA Sundays: The Expert Series - Han Van Meegeren and the Greatest Art Fraud of the 20th Century

On Sunday, September 11, 2022 Dr. Carl Benn provided a lecture on the  1930s and 1940s, Dutch artist Han Van Meegeren created fake paintings of Golden Age works by Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals, and others. His most famous deceptions were interpretations of Johannes Vermeer paintings. Had his crimes not been exposed, his efforts would have corrupted our understanding of 17th-century art. In this illustrated presentation, we will explore how Van Meegeren made his fakes and fooled the experts for a time, as well as consider larger meanings associated with questions of authenticity.

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

CSDA/CCAD is very excited to be a proud member of the Canadian National Exhibition Association. This year the CSDA was present at the CNE on Friday, September 2, 2022. Members of the CSDA/CCAD received a reduced fee on tickets to the  CNE. 

CSDA Sundays: Sis Bunting Weld Private Collectors Series - Sunday, June 5, 2022

Treasure(d) Boxes

On Sunday, June 5th, the CSDA/CCAD held the first in-person event for some time in which Antique collector and dealer Steven Blevins shared his collection of “Treasure(d) Boxes.

Often overlooked, the Box is the Treasure here. Throughout history, boxes are where we have encased our precious things, but now these can be more interesting and valuable than the treasures they were originally meant to contain. Steven Blevins says, “I collect to see the hand and skill of the people who have come before imparted in the work in these creations. These boxes are very personal and unique relics of those lives lived. There was also a bonus feature about the venue for the day’s event—the two Avoca co-op apartment buildings in midtown Toronto, classic examples of mid-century modern architecture. No recording is available for this talk. 

CSDA YP&C Explore Series - Thursday May 19, 2022

Contemporary Decorative Arts: Blurring the Line Between Art and Design

On Thursday, May 19th, The YP&C Committee hosted a talk with Isabelle Weiss advisor and accredited appraiser. The blurring of boundaries between fine art and design is not only shaping today’s decorative arts market but opening up an entirely new sector of ‘contemporary art’ collecting. The intersection of art and design is nothing new and yet, armed with a consciousness of the world’s art and design histories and markets that is unique to this time, emerging artists/designers are examining, pushing and questioning this intersection more than ever.

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

CSDA Sundays: The Experts Series - May 15, 2022

Curator's Choice - Treasures from the Fashion History Museum

Fashion History Museum Board Chair Kenn Norman introduces us to this gem of a museum and Curatorial Director Jonathan Walford shares some of his favourite treasures from its permanent collection. When is a shoe not just a shoe?  When does a foundation garment offer more than support?  And when does an accessory serve no useful purpose except to send a message?  Answers to these and other intriguing questions will unfold as we explore the interplay between form and function in fashion through a virtual visit to the Fashion History Museum.  

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

CSDA Sundays, The Experts Series - Sunday, April 3, 2022

Chinese Porcelain in Canada in the 18th & 19th Centuries:  Featuring Examples in Nova Scotia & Quebec Collections

On Sunday, April 3rd, CSDA/CCAD hosted a talk by Asian art expert Susan Lahey. She illuminated the story of the more than 69,000 fragments of Chinese blue and white porcelain in the archaeological collection of Nova Scotia’s Fortress of Louisbourg and discussed how Chinese famille rose porcelains were imported to Canada from the famous Imperial kilns of Jingdezhen in a visually engaging presentation exploring Chinese porcelain in museum collections from Quebec and Nova Scotia. 

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Member Only portal of the website.

Ornamentum Lecture Series - Thursday, March 24, 2022

Cultural Vessels - When 1960s Mi’kmaq Design and Stories Met Traditional English Bone China

On Thursday, March 24th, Ornamentum magazine hosted with the sponsorship support of Beaverbrook Art Gallery a talk with Emma Hassencahl-Perly a Wolastoqey artist, curator and educator from Negotiuk (Tobique First Nation) and John Leroux manager of collections and exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. They discussed the first modern Indigenous artists in eastern Canada that developed an international following almost overnight. (Note: Article found in Ornamentum Fall/Winter 2021)

Images: Various teacups, saucers, creamers and sugar bowls from Royal Tuscan's "The Micmac Indian Legends of the Little People" fine China set, 1964 Photos: John Leroux 

The recording for this lecture can be found in CSDA Videos on the "Learn" tab of the website. HERE

CSDA Sundays, The Experts Series - Sunday, March 6, 2022

WHAT'S OLD IS NEW . . . or is it?

On Sunday, March 6th, CSDA hosted a panel discussion with estate liquidator/certified appraiser Judith Martin, interior designer Emily Hollis, and do-it-yourselfer Sophie Golets.              In recent years, fine furniture made of mahogany, walnut and various fruit woods has often been dismissed as "brown furniture."  Is Canadian House & Home magazine correct in suggesting that brown furniture is making a comeback?  Are people finding the time to polish silver or hand-wash gold-rimmed china?  Are minimalists making room for family heirlooms?  And does COVID have anything to do with it?  Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, giving your current home a facelift, or just wondering what's going on out there, this event is for you. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal

CSDA/CCAD YP&C  Explore Series - Thursday, February 17, 2022

An Introduction to the Art Kintsugi!  

On Thursday, February 17th, CSDA/CCAD hosted a talk with Shuichi on the art of Kintsugi is a Japanese traditional art form and a practical technique to mend pieces to use them again in our life. Its history can be traced back 9,000 years and includes multifaceted Japanese philosophies such as resilience and sustainability. Kintsugi is increasingly referenced in media and communications during this pandemic period. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal

CSDA/CCAD SundaysThe Experts Series - Sunday, February 6, 2022 

Early Electric Cars of Canada

On Sunday, February 6th, CSDA/CCAD hosted in partnership with the Canadian Automobile Museum a talk about electric transportation which has been around for nearly two centuries. From the intricate models of the 19th-century experimenters to the cars we drive today. Join the Canadian Automotive Museum’s Project Coordinator Dumaresq de Pencier as he steps back to the first century of the electric, from its birth as a scientific toy to the record-breaking motorized carriages of the early 1900s to its golden age before the First World War, and beyond. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal

CSDA/CCAD Sundays, The Experts Series - Sunday, January 9, 2022

Introducing the Arts and Crafts Movement 

On Sunday, January 9th, CSDA/CCAD hosted a talk with Dr. Carl Benn on the Arts and Crafts Movement and the profound impact on architecture, design, and social thought in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. In an richly illustrated lecture, Dr Carl Benn will introduce the ideas that informed the movement, will explore its concerns as it sought to promote good design, nurturing homes, and social reform, and will examine some of the decorative arts, architecture, and paintings created by such individuals as William Morris and Philip Webb in Britain as well as Gustav Stickley and Mary Augusta Heister Reid in North America. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic - Favourite Holiday Traditions

On Sunday, December 5, 2021 CSDA/CCAD held its first 'Tis the season to be jolly talk, a special seasonal version of our popular Sunday series, "Treasures in the Attic." Members donned a festive sweater, and poured a festive drink as 8 fellow members of the CSDA presented some of their most cherished ornaments, religious symbols, tableware and vintage decorations from a range of traditions being observed in the coming weeks. No recording is available for this talk. 

No recording is available for this talk. 

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Makers Series - Sunday, November 7, 2021

Heart, Hand and Eye: A Cabinetmakers’ Conversation 

On Sunday, November 7th, CSDA/CCAD in partnership with Crafted Vancouver, hosted a live, illustrated conversation with Jessie LaFleur, an emerging woodwork artist and recent alumnus of the school, whose Discovery Islands Collection embodies the principles of the Amateur Way. The conversation will be moderated by Marion Couvreur of Crafted Vancouver and herself a graduate of the school. Guests Joined them as they discuss their approach to woodcraft, the Inside Passage School, its founding principles inspired by the late James Krenov, and the common thread woven between them. 

 The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Collectors at Home - Artists as Collectors Series - Sunday, October 17, 2021

Fashioning Old into New: A History of Artist-Collectors 

On Sunday, October 17th, CSDA/CCAD hosted a talk with Jennifer Franks, decorative arts specialist and artists T.M. Glass and Christine Davis.  Artists have collected a myriad of ancient to modern objects, reflected in their fine art practices. For the first museums known as Kunstkammern, or cabinets of curiosities, artists provided “curious” artworks displayed with dead specimens from nature; these once living organisms were often collected by the artists themselves, who repurposed or immortalised them in a variety of mediums; this practice continues today - from ethically sourcing butterfly remains for a canvas to capturing plant specimens in digital paint. The desire to transform the old or transitory into the new and contemporary, most notably in nature, remains a prevalent part of our collective, artistic consciousness. No recording is available for this talk. 

CSDA/CCAD 'EXPLORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives - Sunday, October 3, 2021

Ceramics on the Runway: Exploring the Medium Beyond the Museum 

On Sunday, October 3rd, YP&C hosted a talk with Anjli Patel. Anjli explored the work of renowned designers who are creatively inspired by decorative ceramic objects and who incorporate ceramics into their work. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

39th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting 

Preservation Meets Innovation 

October 1 to 3, 2021, Waterloo Ontario

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: The Art of Appraising - What is it Worth? with Julie Riches & Susan Lahey 

On Sunday, September 12, 2012 CSDA hosted a talk with two Canadian certified appraisers focusing on unveiling the mystery that surrounds appraisals by presenting a variety of objects and discussing the elements that make each of them desirable. Like a detective, the appraiser uncovers the clues to value questions in order to produce accurate results. Co-presenters Susan Lahey and Julie Riches will provide tips on how to better understand the current market and share past experiences identifying unique and challenging appraisal projects. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD 'EXPLORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives' CHINESE ART: Collecting in the 21st Century  

On Thursday, August 12, 2021 CSDA YP&C hosted a talk with Anthony Wu, Asian art appraiser. Anthony spoke about a selection of decorative art objects that will include porcelain, ceramics, jade carvings, snuff bottles, furniture and paintings. He will also address the changing market and the benefits of collecting for a new generation. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

Image: Lyndoe Bench, Photo from Mary Ratcliffe Studio

CSDA/CCAD 'EXPORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives'  Longevity-Minded Design

On Thursday, July 15, 2021 CSDA YP&C hosted a new series called 'EXPLORE' with Furniture Designer Mary Ratcliffe who discussed the birth of Mary Ratcliffe Studio. MRS is a Toronto-based contemporary furniture design studio committed to exceptional craftsmanship and creating pieces to be passed down through history. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

George III Silver Cake Basket, Charles Aldridge & Henry Green, London, 1792

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic - 'All that Glitters is not Gold '

On Sunday, June 6, 2021 CSDA hosted a talk between collector Michael Crawley and silversmith and appraiser Ross Morrow of A.H. Wilkens about Mr. Crawley's family silver heirlooms.  

The focus was on pieces presented including two 18th c, silver cake baskets (one English the other Irish) and a  tea service dating from the  William IV period. "In my mind they show beauty, craftsmanship and how the middle class aped the upper classes by the end of the Victorian era" said Mr. Crawley. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

Ornamentum 15th Anniversary Panel Discussion ‘Then and Now ‘

On Sunday, May 23, 2121 CSDA held a panel discussion Moderated by Rosalind Pepall, ‘Then and Now’ will feature panelists Erin Lynn McMullan, Alexandra McCurdy and Peter Larocque, as they look back over the last 15 years and discuss the landscape of decorative arts within Canada. Reexperience what it was like to create a new magazine then and discover the latest trends in the decorative arts field now, hear what the panelists are working on and what is happening around them.

Experience the FREE talk HERE

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: If the Cups Could Talk:  Pottery in Victorian Painting and Literature

On Sunday, May 2, 2021 CSDA held an online talk with Dr. Rachel Gotlieb.  What can ceramics tell us about the virtue of a George Eliot heroine or a Dickensian hero? Rachel Gotlieb walk you through some well-known novels and paintings of the Victorian period to see how authors and artists used pottery and porcelain to provide insight into the characters they portrayed.

This richly illustrated talk will explain how depictions of ceramics played a central role in moralizing and decorating Victorian society. The recording for this talk is available to members on the Members-only portal

Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios mounted by the Textile Museum of Canada

On Saturday, March 27, 2021 CSDA and the Textile Museum of Canada presented the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut in the 1950s and '60s a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Makers' Series - Wesley Harris, RCA

On Sunday, March 7, 2021 CSDA held its first of many Makers' talks. Participants listened to one of Canada's leading metalsmiths Wesley Harris. In this 'Makers Series', Wesley will highlight two smithing techniques represented in the creation of his tea service (photographed here).  Additionally, Mr. Harris will discuss nature as a source of inspiration and how it appears in his work. The recording for this series is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Material Culture: What does it Include?

On February 7, 2021 CSDA held an online lecture with Dr. Michael Prokopow on the subject of Material culture as it relates both to a subject area and a methodology. This talk will consider the study of human-made and human-modified things and the ways that they are classified and why. Issues of function, decoration and style will be considered. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

See the source image

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic: Personal Mementos from Spadina House 

On January 10, 2021 CSDA held an online talk with James Thompson, a fifth-generation member of the Austin family, who built Spadina House and later donated it to the City and the Province. James will give us a glimpse into the story of Spadina House by sharing decorative arts objects and other items he acquired when the house transitioned from a family home into a public museum. The recording for this talk is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD Spotlight on Decorative Arts at Waddington's

On November 22, 2020 CSDA and Waddington's held an online event highlighting objects selected by CSDA and the Gardiner Museum's Young Patrons Circle members. Bill Kime, Sean Quinn and Hayley Dawson of Waddington’s lead a discussion surrounding the pre-selected objects, which will be included in Waddington’s upcoming Decorative Arts & Design Auction. 

Ornamentum Exchange virtual talk with Rosalind Pepall & Dr Rachel Gotlieb discussion Talking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator book - November  1, 2020. If you missed the presentation please you can access the recording here.

In these fifteen essays we encounter artists falling in and out of love, family tragedies, the creation of the Stanley Cup, the secrets of Tiffany, Antiques Roadshow, a rootless baroness, the design craze for aluminum, small Japanese boxes called kogos, watercolour sketchbooks of the Canadian north, a beautiful prayer room in Montreal, gondolas flying through windows in Venice, and Moscovites who love Goldfinger,  The recording is available to members on the Members-only portal.  Order your own copy of the book HERE.

The Legacy of the Bauhaus: Urban Upheaval and the Rise of New Vernaculars

On October 2, 2020 Professor Marcin Kedzior, Director of the Centre for Cultural Landscapes - Willowbank School of Restoration Arts presented at the conclusion of CSDA/CCAD's 38th Annual General Meeting his observations on the illustrations of ornamentation and the spirit of the decorative arts did not subside during Modernism and industrialization, it was simply displaced. Modernist architects including Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright were influenced by vernacular artifacts, and movements such as Art Nouveau. Ornament did not go away, but was understood as the "celebration of a joint," the exuberance of material properties, constantly shifting light affects, a continuity with the vitality of nature, the expression of structural forces, and an alternate take on craft. 

Collectors at Home 

The CSDA/CCAD will be highlighting some of the beautiful, rare and/or sentimental pieces our members enjoy behind closed doors.

June 20, 2020 inaugural virtual event with guest curator Jennifer Franks, Art & Design Historian.  Theme - From Utility to Life: Sculptural Decorative Arts - followed by  Q&A with CSDA collectors.

37th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Trends and Traditions: Decorative Arts in Kingston, Ontario  
September 26th to 29, 2019, Kingston, Ontario

36th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Spirit of the West: Decorative Arts In Calgary, Alberta 
September 27th to September 30, 2018, Calgary, Alberta
36th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Spirit of the West: Decorative Arts In Calgary, Alberta 
September 27th to September 30, 2018
Calgary, Alberta

35th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting

September 28 - October 1, 2017, Charlottetown, PEI 

“Hat’s off” to Martha Deacon,Harriet Meacher,Linda Berko and Paula Kenny for organizing such a wonderful 35th Canadian Society of Decorative Arts Symposium, celebrating Canada’s 150th year!

Above is a photo of our distinguished Symposium participants posing as the Fathers of Confederation in front of Government House, known as Fanningbank in Charlottetown PEI.

34th Annual Symposium:

Tradition Redefined - The Decorative Arts in Contemporary Urban Context

September 29th - October 2nd, 2016

Toronto, Ontario

33rd Annual CSDA Symposium and General Meeting

We organize an annual symposium featuring contributions from Canadian and International experts. We explore a different Canadian city each year and visit local heritage sites, artisan studios, cultural institutions and private collections.

 ‘St. Andrew’s, NB: Canada’s First Seaside Resort’ took place in St. Andrew’s-by-the-sea, October 1 - 4, 2015.

32nd Annual CSDA Symposium and General Meeting

Scenic Views: Exploring the Historic, Cultural and Artistic Landscape of Niagara-on-the-Lake

Thursday, October 2 - Sunday, October 5, 2014

Image information: View of Fort Niagara by John Herbert Caddy, courtesy of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum


      A selection of images from the 2014 Annual Symposium,
      Scenic Views: Exploring the Historic, Cultural and Artistic
      Landscape of Niagara-on-the-Lake

The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/ Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs was formed, with the generous support
of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, to provide a forum for all those interested in the decorative arts.
© 1981 - 2023 Canadian Society of Decorative Arts / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs