International Committee
for Museums and Collections
of Decorative Arts and Design

ICDAD 2024 Annual Conference Call for Papers: Dwelling, Design, and the Decorative Arts

June 27, 2024

Dwelling, Design, and the Decorative Arts
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Conference: November 19-21, 2024
Post-conference tour: November 22-23, 2024

CFP closes July 30!

The Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem, Massachusetts, is the oldest continually operating museum in the United States, founded in 1799. And so it is fitting that it is also the first museum to install period rooms within its galleries as well as being an early leader in the preservation of historic houses. This commitment to “rooms” reflects a longstanding preoccupation with the domestic sphere in the world of decorative arts and design. Many of the decorative objects found in museums today were originally made for use in the home and by families, and so their interpretation and study must grapple with the domestic in a myriad of ways. 

Annual Conference "Ornament" in Lisbon

August 3, 2023

ICDAD and Palácio Nacional de Ajuda are looking forward to welcoming you to the beautiful city of Lisbon for ICDAD’s Annual Conference, 10–12 October 2023. The two day post-conference tour on 13–14 October will take us to Sintra and Coimbra. 

Please find the main conference program here.

Click here for more information and to register.

Please note that there’s a limit of 60 participants. Registration will close when the conference reaches capacity.

Conference Archive

Call for Papers: "Ornament," Annual Conference, Lisbon, 10-12 October 2023

March 28, 2023

Submission deadline: 15 May 2023

“Ornament is not only produced by criminals; it itself commits a crime,” So said architect and designer Adolf Loos in his 1910 lecture-turned-essay “Ornament and Crime,” where he described the effort in designing and creating ornaments as superfluous and wasteful and helped to set the stage for the minimalist, stripped-down forms that would shape modern architecture and design for much of the twentieth century. More than fifty years later, postmodern designers rejected the strict functionalism of modern design, with Robert Venturi declaring, “more is more, less is a bore,” and Ettore Sottsass poetically describing decoration as “a state of mind, an unusual perception, a ritual whisper.”

 The debate over ornament—what is its purpose, what should it look like, how should it be applied, and is it even necessary at all—chronologically and geographically transcends any of these figures and is in fact as old as the field of decorative arts itself. Skilled craftspeople have been producing ornament-laden decorative arts for more than a millennia. Throughout the world, cultures have developed complex relationships to ornament, making it an ideal topic for ICDAD’s 2023 annual meeting. 

This year’s ICDAD conference invites papers that consider the many dimensions of ornament and its multiple roles in decorative arts and design. For instance, what is its role today? How have relationships to decoration evolved over periods of time?  What are its social and political functions? Does ornament enhance or obscure meaning and use? How do different cultures address ornament and decoration, and where have they served as a connector between communities? How does decoration function in global art history, and how might the approaches taken by artists and makers in non-western countries illuminate alternative relationships to ornament? 

Lisbon is an interesting site for this productive dialogue; a city marked by its centuries-old tradition of decorative tile as well as gilded and polychrome wood carving. Lisbon is also the home of present-day designers rethinking associations to material and aesthetics. The ICDAD meeting in Lisbon will take full advantage of this fertile ground, visiting significant historical sites and museums throughout the city and the surroundings while engaging with contemporary collections and makers. 

The after conference tour shall be to Coimbra and Porto, in the north of Portugal, on 13 and 14 October.

How to apply

Send an abstract of 250–300 words, including a short CV to:  icdad.lisbon23@gmail.com

Proposals must be written in English, and participants will also be expected to give their presentations in English.

Presentations should be 15 minutes in length and include a visual presentation component (Powerpoint, Google Slides, etc.). Participants will also have the opportunity to publish their papers in the ICDAD conference publication.

Presentators will be expected to cover their own registration, but travel grants for young ICOM members are available. More information about travel grants will be released shortly. 

Please note: ICDAD welcomes abstracts from museum professionals worldwide, members and non-members. However, all participants must be individual members or representatives of institutional members of ICDAD at the time of the conference.

Find more information about how to become a member of ICOM and ICDAD here: https://icom.museum/en/get-involved/

If you are already a member of ICOM, please log in to the IRIS memberspace and choose ICDAD as your primary International Committee: https://icom-museum.force.com/login


Submission deadline: 15 May 2023 to icdad.lisbon23@gmail.com

Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2023

Annual Conference and General Assembly: 10–12 October 2023

Post- Conference Tour: 13–14 October 2023

Contact: icdad.lisbon23@gmail.com

Letters from the Board

New Board for 2023-2025 Announced

December 27, 2022

ICDAD elections for the next 2023-2025 triannium took place on the xoyondo.com platform this year, immediately following the GEneral Meeting on 16 November 2022. THe voting poll closed on 23 November 2022 at 9 PM Paris time. Annamarie Sendecki and Rosita Nenno (both former board members) supervised the election. 

The results are: 

Melissa Rinne has been elected board chair. We received 61 valid votes, 56 yes and 5 abstentions. Melissa has accepted the vote and will be installeda s the new Chair for ICDAD. NOTE: From the 88 entries, not all were valid or eligible (e.g. double entry not an ICDAD voting member). 

9 candidates ran for 7 general board member posts. We received 68 valid votes, with no abstentions. The newly elected board members for the triannium 2023-2025 in alphabetical order are: 

  • Sarah Chasse
  • Mariàngels Fondevila
  • Denise Hagströmer
  • Kaja Muszyńska
  • Eva van Regenmortel 
  • Anika Reineke
  • Shoshana Resnikoff

All board members have accepted their roles, and ICDAD thanks all candidates for their time and interest in serving. 

Note: there have been 110 entries from 83 people, with some double/triple entries due to the new online voting process. Not all were members or voting members of ICDAD .The supervisors checked the eligibility of all voters with the help of the ICOM Secretariat. 

The work of the board will begin in January 2023.