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Here is a brief description of marquetry as an art form in it's own right rather than just the general perception of it as nothing more than a commercial level of furniture decoration.
Could it be perhaps, the new oil paint?

Marquetry, as most of the population perceives it, is flowery and neo classical designs affixed to rather old furniture as no more than decoration, it is used to enhance the appearance of the furniture in a rather uniform manner, it by it's own standards, follows the shape and design arrangements of the furniture, it has never been seen as an entity in it's own right. I think it would be correct to say that until the formation of the Marquetry Society, marquetry was perceived as a quaint and twee past time on a par with doing jig saw puzzles, but over the last few years marquetry has started to be taken seriously by the art world and will in time be able to rank itself along with painting and sculpture as an art form of choice.

Can marquetry rival paint?

I'll say it can!

Marquetry has the unique asset of using the very nature of the materials of the art as an extra enhancement to illustrate the finished work.

The explanation of that statement being that nearly everyone appreciates polished wood, and marquetry being a "wood based" art already has that advantage built in so to speak.

The newer methods employed in marquetry, and the even newer ones being discovered, are bringing marquetry into the realms of descriptive art so often seen in oil paintings and the like.

Some of these methods I refer to are such as fragmentation, sliverisation, spear cutting etc etc.

These methods allow us to do blending and gradual colour merges which would not be available to us in normal circumstances, so as you will appreciate, marquetry is still basically a relatively young art discipline in it's present form.

Marquetry has indeed been around since the ancient Egyptians but their early form of marquetry is a rather flat looking style, today's interpretation of the art is,

Puti in marquetry
however a very different animal, we now have form and shading of subtle degrees that we can incorporate into our pictures and thus we are at last able to equal, and in many cases surpass, conventional artistic practices.

The future for marquetry as a main stream art form

The Marquetry Society has over the years done magnificent work in promoting the causes of the art. The Society itself has only been in formation for the last 50 years and therefore because of this fact, when compared to the centuries of existence for the established forms of art, marquetry when viewed as an artistic discipline, is still very much in it's infancy. In it's early days the Society membership was more wood worker orientated than it is today, today it has broadened its horizons and now incorporates an artistic base rather than it's furniture decorators origins that hampered it's aspirations of it's earliest years. Once the established art galleries catch on to the art works being produced by the growing marquetry movement I believe we will find that marquetry will be entering the mainstream art world as a discipline on a par with the established medias.

How marquetry can benefit your well being

An added bonus of participating in the world of marquetry is that marquetry is very good for your health, relaxation and general well being. It is a fact that a far larger percentage of marquetarians, as compared to the general populace, make it to a very active old age. And in happy addition to good physical health, because of the cerebral application required of the discipline, they all keep remarkably good mental health in addition to incredible hand to eye dexterity well into their eighties and nineties. So I would say that if you require a good palliative to get you into a happy and active old age without having to resort to the arts of the medical professions, why not give marquetry a try it really is a marvellous "hands on tonic".