Thursday, May 04, 2006

But is it Art?

Art or craft? Here is a wooden statue looking out of a window in the village of Flavigny in Burgundy, which is where they filmed some scenes of the very enjoyable film Chocolat .

And then I found this, on a bridge in Paris:

Art or craft?

And then this, in a garden in the delightful village of Montreal:

Or this, in the same village, made of wood:

Art or craft? It's strange that we can admire the skill of craftspeople and then say, disparagingly, "but it's not art". Why should it try to be? And what's the difference?

Can a corn dolly ever be art? - - Well I don't think so. If I think of it as a traditional craft I can quite like it: if I think of it as art I don't. How about a peg doll? Or a table? Or a rug?

So what is it that makes the difference? What changes something from Craft into Art?


Blogger John said...


11:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus courage

12:34 am  
Blogger John said...

Read more about the Great Divide here

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus price.

11:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craft is almost invariably useful, at least in origin, though it does sometimes turn into "only used for decoration".

However, I believe that craft *is* a form of art. Most potters and many dressmakers and so on are artists, they really are. Carpenters too.

10:34 am  
Blogger Daphne said...

I agree, Ailbhe - though the crafts I like best tend to be the ones which are useful, such as a well-made table - and I think our society doesn't value highly-skilled craftspeople enough.

11:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the standpoint of an uneducated Philistine, I think that I consider something art if it reaches me emotionally. We've just come back from Rome, where I saw a LOT of supposed 'Great Art' which left me cold. To me, much of it was simply well executed statuary. Hovever, I found Bernini's Piazza and the Angel of Death to be exciting and powerful.

9:43 am  

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