Last updated: 3/21/2011
Lancaster, Ohio
Street Address
145 E Main St
Lancaster, OH 43130
Mailing Address
145 E Main St
Lancaster, OH 43130
phone: 740-681-1423
Museum Hours
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 4 PM
Office Hours
Monday - Friday8 AM - 5 PM
Admission is free.
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Andrea Brookover, Operations Director

The Definition of Decorative Art: Sometimes known as functional art – a term that embraces all artistic works created for both use and decoration. It includes work by skilled artisans, in metal, stone, wood, and glass as well as textiles including quilts, coverlets, and tapestries. The term also refers to those aspects of interior design subordinate to architecture, including molded plaster work, wallpaper, furniture, and draperies. Personal objects such as jewelry, tools, and costumes are considered to be part of the decorative arts as well. Any and all art works with a sense of design fall under the decorative arts and are the wonderful things that we live with and look at every day. The Center also features contemporary work by artists who use the traditional decorative arts media.

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is located in Lancaster, Ohio, just Southeast of Columbus. It is a not-for-profit museum whose mission is to foster knowledge and appreciation of the decorative arts; celebrate the architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters House; and enhance the vitality and integrity of historic Lancaster. The Center provides exhibitions, public programs, art classes and workshops for all ages, and a focus for research and communication about the decorative arts of Ohio.

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio features a Museum Shop as an educational extension of the Center. The Shop’s mission is to support the Center in fostering knowledge, enjoyment and appreciation of the decorative arts while celebrating the architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters house in which we are located. Therefore, the shop offers a variety of decorative art, exhibition and period-related merchandise. An example of these items includes: books, children’s items, stationary, pottery, textiles, jewelry and seasonal items. You will also find fun and educational items crafted by Ohio Artisans. Reasonably priced Logo items include chocolates, tote bags, sport bottles, postcards, note cards and books, magnets, and ornaments. Members of the Decorative Arts Center receive a 10% discount on their purchases and receive free gift-wrapping upon request. Look for our Discount Coupon on our website or during your next visit for additional savings.

The Reese Peters House is an elegant venue of beautiful grounds and manicured gardens for a variety of events. Renting the facility is a privilege of membership and is available beyond normal operating hours, April through October. We can provide a list of suggested caterers, entertainers and photographers upon request.


The vision of the museum is to be a leader in decorative art education. The Center provides exhibitions, public programs, art classes and workshops for all ages, and a focus for research and communication about the decorative arts of Ohio.


In the early 1990s a group of Lancaster citizens began to formulate plans to develop the property as an arts facility. At the time of the gift to the Fairfield County Commissioners in 1995, the Ohio State Legislature, recognizing the potential of this site, allocated $1.2 million from the Capital Improvements Fund to help support the renovation of the Reese-Peters House as the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of trustees. The renovation proceeded under the supervision of the Ohio Arts and Sports Facilities Commission, the County Commissioners, and the Decorative Arts Center board. Following careful research, the restoration was completed during the late 1990s with support from local and state funds and private contributions. In September 2000, the Reese-Peters House and the Wendel Center for Art Education were dedicated as the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.

Artifact Collections

Historical decorative arts, specifically Greek Revival and Eastlake.

Educational Programs

Programming includes exhibition related lectures and a year-round art education program for students of all ages. The museum also has a large volunteer program, providing semi-annual trainings and docent training prior to the opening of each exhibition.


Members Newsletter- Spring and Fall

  • Art Class and Program Calendar- 3/yr
  • Exhibition annoucements- 3/yr
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible


    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

    Group Tours

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