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The invention of art : a cultural history

Author: L E Shiner
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2002.
Edition/Format:   Audiobook on CD : CD audio : English
Summary:
[In this book, the author] spent over a decade honing what he calls a "brief history of the idea of art." [He] finds that "the category of fine art is a recent historical construction that could disappear in its turn." He plausibly traces the 18th-century division between "so-called polite and vulgar arts" from a time when music, for example, was played at home or for "religious and civic occasions" to when it  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: L E Shiner
OCLC Number: 50859751
Notes: Originally published: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, ©2001.
Description: 1 audio disc : digital, mono ; 4 3/4 in.
Contents: Before fine art and craft: Greeks had no word for it; Aquinas's saw; Michelangelo and Shakespeare, art on the rise; Artemisia's allegory, art in transition --
Art divided: Polite arts for the polite classes; Artist, the work, and the market; From taste to the aesthetic --
Countercurrents: Hogarth, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft; Revolution, music, festival, museum --
Apotheosis of art: Art as redemptive revelation; Artist, a sacred calling; Silences, triumph of the aesthetic --
Beyond fine art and craft: Assimilation and resistance; Modernism, anti-art, and the Bauhaus; Beyond art and craft?
Responsibility: Larry Shiner.

Abstract:

[In this book, the author] spent over a decade honing what he calls a "brief history of the idea of art." [He] finds that "the category of fine art is a recent historical construction that could disappear in its turn." He plausibly traces the 18th-century division between "so-called polite and vulgar arts" from a time when music, for example, was played at home or for "religious and civic occasions" to when it started to be played in concerts with no other goal than artistic enjoyment in and of itself: "On this high cultural ground, noble and bourgeois could meet as a fine art public, rejecting both the frivolous diversions of the rich and highborn as well as the vulgar amusements of the populace." It was the beginning of art as we experience it today. [He] cites examples from a wide range of forms, including Shakespeare's plays, Greek drama, Cellini's sculptures and Michelangelo's paintings. He discusses Asian art, pointing out how "the Japanese language had no collective noun for art' in our sense until the nineteenth century" and establishes that the phrase "Chinese art" is also a relatively recent invention, since before the 19th century no one in China grouped painting, sculpture, ceramics, and calligraphy together as objects" with something determinate in common. [He also] argues that people who complain about the "death of art" are really just failing to measure "the staying power of the established art system."--Jacket.

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