Who made the object? (research the craft, the artist or group, the factory)
What is the style of the object? (design style, art style, historical style) How do you know?
Who used this object? (Trace the owners/users to the first one)
Do an oral history of the current or past owners to find out about their lives with the object.
Look through family photographs for the object.
Look through any family or public records that might apply.
How does this object relate (in price, quality, style) to other objects of this type in its time? (look
in catalogs and at other examples)
What did the object mean to its first owners/users? (e.g., 1880s quilt = comfort, warmth, recy-
cling of clothes, example of fine skill of maker, unity of group quilters)
What does the object mean today? (e.g., 1880s quilt = memories, gift, beauty, collector's item)
After you answer these questions, fill out the "Decorative Arts Catalog Worksheet". This research can be
used as information for labels, exhibit wall text panels, and/or as a research paper or oral presentation
by an educator in an exhibit (see
Building a Museum in Your Classroom
Gathering Information Research Procedures--page 2