But, as your example indicates, they were status-objects.
Paul, a bit earlier you used the example of 'collecting' as something that defined art.
Surely status objects fit quite easily into that definition. You do seem to have shifted your goalposts a bit towards a 'public notion of art, that it is something shared by a culture'. You didn't start off with that as part of your definition, or if you did, I must have missed it?
The public notion of art surely is explicit in the idea of an Art World which I described, particularly as it included the interested public.
I was thinking of a status-object as something that denotes the status of its owner, like a crown. I would imagine the beads Dyan describes fulfill that function; like the Fabergé eggs which the Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II commissioned, they are intricate, rare and obviously expensive.
Some wealthy people have collected art ostentatiously; others more quietly. The importance of collecting as a signifier of an art culture is that the works are collected as art, not for another purpose. Of course, an especially devout person might collect religious paintings as objects of veneration rather than things of artistic value, and a dog lover might buy many paintings of dogs; but other historic collections show that their owners were interested in art as such, and in the work of particular artists.
Paul, you say the definition of art you are describing is not yours. It's not exactly Dickie's either. Where does it come from?
Danto, Shiner, Davies et al. It is not exactly anybody's. I don't think it is that unusual.
Some wealthy people have collected art ostentatiously; others more quietly. The importance of collecting as a signifier of an art culture is that the works are collected as art, not for another purpose.
In all the instances that I am aware of the wealthy have collected art as an investment. We have no capital gains tax so the investment is tax free and none of the profits go back to the artist. A system of ongoing royalties to the artist would seem to be a good idea, unless of course you are a wealthy investor.
The correlation between wealth and Art (with a big A) is not coincidental and has its roots in the system of patronage, which, of course, was altruistic. </sarc.>
In the stately homes of England, the Titians and Claudes acquired on the Grand Tour were often set into frames that were part of the architecture, which indicates that the owners had no intention of selling their paintings. The very fact that many of these paintings remain in the houses to which they were brought indicates that they were not for resale.
Collecting as an investment is a relatively new phenomenon. Beside, there are many cases where collectors have donated their collections to public institutions.
Judith Tizard tried to get a royalty system started, but it is very unlikely to come back under this Government.
The truth is, we would not have had art with a big A without patronage.
The big A here isn't Art but America.
The Weta design prop-osal for the Rugby world cup is done in the overfinished, slick-as style of West Coast of America, which is also strongly influenced by their film industry.
This seems like an unfortunate choice of style for the raw and brutal sport of Rugby but perhaps captures some of the professionalism displayed in the contemporary game.
This may be a case where Art is not leading the culture but instead it is the culture of sport leading the Art.
I think this proposal, and that is all it is at present holds up a useful mirror to contemporary NZ culture, no longer rough as expression but slick professionalism. I may not like it but the three dimensional realisation of this idea seems to have some sort of warped integrity.
Thanks William. Now, I wonder what Henry Fuseli and Dante Gabriel Rossetti make of it.
so you endorse the proposal phillipmatthews with no break in his name.
As I don't have to live with it every day, I don't have strong opinions. It's one for the ratepayers of Wellington. But if they were thinking of sticking it at the corner of, say, High Street and Colombo Street in Chch, I'd probably put dynamite under it.
That William Blake is one scary poet...
~~For the reckord (not because I'm a philosophy of art geek:) Dickie's 'Institutional theory' does not tend generally towards the sort of interpretation Paul describes. Dickie talks of the possibility- and indeed, probability- of many 'artworlds' rather than one monolithic Western entity.
David Novitz goes further down this path, denying there's any way of clearly distinguishing between 'high' and 'low' artforms.
Not to mention the fact that when Boardman wrote that the Greeks had no separate words for art and crafts, he didn't mean that the Greeks had no meaningful concept of art or regard for artists. Since all we know about Phidias and Praxiteles - in the absence of their actual works - is the spectacularly high regard in which they were held by their contemporaries, such a statement would have been - how shall I put it? - stupid.
What the absence of those clear linguistic and conceptual demarcations means, rather, as indeed it has been the case in most cultures, is that the Greeks conceptualised art and craft as existing on the same spectrum. I'd argue that it's more a case of the monolithic west coming around again to this idea than the reverse.
it's more a case of the monolithic west coming around again to this idea
Theory often lags practice by a millenium or three :)
Is not the Divine, is Urizen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urizen
Just quietly. Oh!
I just think i am lucky not to be called richard taylor.
Wikipedia; In Blake's later myth, Urizen is one of the four Zoas, the fourfold division of God. The other three represent aspects of the trinity and he represents the fallen, Satanic figure although he is also the creator figure.
Some call him the Demiurge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demiurge this would be heretical...
Since all we know about Phidias and Praxiteles - in the absence of their actual works - is the spectacularly high regard in which they were held by their contemporaries, such a statement would have been - how shall I put it? - stupid.
"Plutarch said that no talented young aristocrat upon seeing and admiring the famous Zeus of Phidias would want to be Phidias" (Burford, Alison : Craftsmen in Greek and Roman Society, Ithica NY 1972, quoted in Shiner, p23). It is not that "the Greeks conceptualised art and craft as existing on the same spectrum," it is that there was no notion of art such as we have: the Greeks and Romans were "confronted with excellent works of art and quite susceptible to their charm, [they] were neither able nor eager to detach the aesthetic quality of these works of art from their intellectual, moral, religious and practical functioning or content, or to use such an aesthetic quality for grouping the fine arts together." (Kristeller, Paul: Renaissance Thought and the Arts, Princeton NJ 1990, quoted in Shiner, p26).
It is we of the allegedly monolithic West who made the works of the ancients into works of art, in the sense that these works are now of largely aesthetic value. Boardman meant what he said.
Dickie's 'Institutional theory' does not tend generally towards the sort of interpretation Paul describes.
Rob, I do not share your interpretation of Dickie.
There may well be many art worlds. I think genres such as fantasy art, erotica and 'traditional' art (those painters who imitate Old Masters) have their own art worlds: means of exchange and criticism exist - dealers and magazines; the genres have established masters and so on. However, they are not part of the Art World, the global network of institutions which defines what is art. Works of these genres would not be found in art museums, because they are not part of the Art World. This fact is what Jack Vetriano's fans were grumbling about. He is hugely popular with people who do not know a lot about art but know what they like, yet he is not represented in any public collection in Scotland.
Are you suggesting that contemporary artistic movements, in the West or elsewhere, produce works of largely aesthetic value? (Besides the obvious fact that neither did Giotto, Leonardo and Michelangelo. Their works did have intellectual, moral, religious and dare I say it even practical value.)
Once again, you are using a partial and largely idealised, abstracted idea of art that arose out of a particular sociocultural context and applying it to the rest of the world throughout time. It's never going to work.
Gio;...and dare I say it even practical value.
Michelangelo carved sarcophagi,
...this story is erroneous, the one I read had it that M refused the job, so the Pope's minions covered over the embarrassment by saying the above version of events.
Famously M is known as the guy who refused a Pope...
Is not the Divine, is Urizen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urizen
Just to draw a line (ahaha) under this one, a line on the Urizen as it were, I was punning (badly) on one of Blake's poems, Jerusalem:
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
Feet/feat. D'ya see what I did there?
So calm down, and keep your Demiurges under control...
In that poem Blake was referring to Joseph of Aramathea bringing Jesus to Albion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_did_those_feet_in_ancient_time
Sorry I missed your pun.