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Decorative Arts: Lesson One

Much of the ornamentation found in the interior decoration at the Fox Theatre is modeled after Muslim mosques. Islamic artwork is not made using random, free-choice designs, but is drawn within the constraints of symmetry and the laws of proportion. The basic component is a simple shape, repeated in patterns following bilateral or radial symmetry (Geometry in Islamic Patterns). Look at photographs Islamic inspired art found in the Fox Theatre. Carefully study the patterns in the architectural embellishments. Describe what you see. How are the shapes arranged? The designs are endlessly repeating in elaborate complexity. Looking at the whole, you see no center but rather an even, total, and unending aesthetic.


Originally, a large stained glass panel covered a skylight in the ceiling of the Grand Salon. It was removed in the 1940's when the room was converted to office space. You have been hired by the Atlanta Preservation Centerto create a new stained glass design. Because there are no records of the original ceiling, you must draw inspiration from the architectural style in the room. The client wants this window to be the focal point of the room. The opening is an eight by twelve foot rectangle. Using the principals of tessellation, your job is to create a stained glass window design to match the themes of the Fox's Grand Salon.