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Category: Visual Works

The Visual Works hierarchy contains descriptors for items that were originally created for the purpose of communicating meaning primarily visually and nonverbally, especially those conveying a symbolic or expressive meaning or an aesthetic experience. This includes pictorial and sculptural works, as well as those time-based works, such as performance art, that evolved within and are associated with the visual arts. Some descriptors in this hierarchy can refer to either an object or an image; for example, in the case of an object that is constructed of canvas, stretchers, and frame specifically to support a painted image, the image and the object both may be called a painting, whereas an image painted on a piece of furniture may be called a painting, but the supporting object is, for example, a chest of drawers or a firescreen.Relation to Other Hierarchies: In the Information Forms hierarchy are found descriptors for items that communicate by visual, nonverbal means, but whose purpose is primarily informational (e.g., "maps"), including certain prints that are associated with the reproduction of documents and technical drawings (e.g., "blueprints"). Descriptors for decorative elements may be found in the Design Elements hierarchy (e.g., "scrollwork") and the Components hierarchy (e.g., "acroteria"), and architectural forms that are primarily structural and secondarily sculptural (e.g., "caryatids") also appear in Components. Most descriptors for the materials used in a work are in the Materials hierarchy (e.g., "canvas"), although if found objects or construction materials are used (e.g., "dinner plates", "I-beams") these descriptors appear in locations appropriate to the item's original function. Descriptors for the methods used to create a work (e.g.g., "wet collodion process", "carving") are in the Processes and Techniques hierarchy. Regarding general classes of subject matter, other descriptors appear in various hierarchies, including Events (e.g., "war") and Associated Concepts (e.g., "mythology").

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This term is part of Art & Architecture Thesaurus ® developed by the Getty Research Institute (GRI), an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. more>

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This electronic record was created from historic documentation. It may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the collection item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and therefore may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have additional information or questions about objects in the collection, we encourage you to contact us using our enquiry form.