You would think that with everything we use, function would always come first, then form, and only as it serves function. But we perversely switch those mandates more often than not. I mean, is anything less functional than a pair of fabulous high-fashion shoes?
The world of decorative arts has the same split personality as fashion, as anyone who has teetered on a wildly beautiful and insanely uncomfortable French opera chair knows. Or, conversely, snoozed in a wildly ugly and insanely comfortable purple velour recliner.
A new show, "Form/Function," opens at the Polk Museum of Art, 800 E Palmetto St., Lakeland, on Saturday. It explores this dynamic using examples from the museum's permanent collection that ranges from pre-Columbian ceramics to Asian porcelain. Shown is a 16th century Majolica plate, which is a happy marriage of form and function.
The show continues through Sept. 10. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors and free to children and students with ID. (863) 688-7743 or polkmuseumofart.org.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic