- What is Cultural Heritage?
- Where are the women artists?
- Must art be beautiful?
- Is there a difference between art and craft?
- What's the point of realism?
- What makes art valuable—then and now?
- Copying — spotlight: Virgin Hodegetria
- Copying as innovation and resistance
Is there a difference between art and craft?
Was da Vinci an artistic genius? Sure, but he was also born in the right place at the right time -- pre-Renaissance, Western artists got little individual credit for their work. And in many non-Western cultures, traditional forms have always been prized over innovation. So, where do we get our notions of art vs. craft? Laura Morelli traces the history of how we assign value to the visual arts. Lesson by Laura Morelli, animation by Sandro Katamashvili.
Want to join the conversation?
- I believe that the difference between "art" and "craft" is that a "craft" is an object that despite it's beauty in the eye of the beholder, can still fulfill a practical everyday purpose. For example, a vase, a rug, even religious masks because religion is considered a part of everyday life in most cultures. Anyone concur?(38 votes)
- I think this whole matter of what is art, what is craft is in the eye of the beholder. In the early twentieth century the Bauhaus and de Stijl schools of art worked to combine art and craft, to give beauty to functional objects. One person's craft may be another person's art and vice-versa. Whether you put a silver spoon on display in a museum or in a bowl of mashed potatoes may be the ultimate test- again, it is based on individual perspective.(8 votes)
- If most cultures hew to artistic traditions, what are the cultural, social, etc. factors that made ancient Greco-Roman artists (especially ancient Greek) strive for innovation?(6 votes)
- With reference to the writings of Pliny the Elder the artists of ancient Greece and Rome were not necessarily "striving for innovation" rather they were striving for perfection.(12 votes)
- what was Picaso's first painting(6 votes)
- His first painting was Le picador when he was 9 years old. But his first major painting was First Communion when he was 15.(7 votes)
- At3:44, there is a simple drawing of a dachshund. I love it! Is that a known work? If so, please tell me the name of the artist. Thanks.(4 votes)
- That's a famous (and great!) drawing by Picasso. You can find it again by doing a Google Image search for "Picasso" and "dachshund."
You can also look up a book about Picasso and the dachshund -- the title is "Picasso & Lump."(6 votes)
- I know that Leonardo Da Vinci created art, but he also invented things. Would his inventions be considered art too?(6 votes)
- I think it would be considered a form of art .(1 vote)
- As diferenças entre arte e artesanato, são os valores e cultura?(4 votes)
- I think so. Some cultures had art that was purely functional: masks for rituals, woven cloths for keeping warm, etc. These are called "crafts." However, they can still be analyzed the way art is, because these cultures would have evolved certain traditions and skills in making these objects.(5 votes)
- i like it but what about art and craft mixed togother(3 votes)
- You can say that craft is art, so they are already mixed.(4 votes)
- At the beginning of the video, when she mentions "the right place at the right time", the time is right because "the concept of artists hardly existed", but what make a "right place" for art?(4 votes)
- The same idea: Only in Italy did the new concept of perceiving art develop. Had they lived in another country or even another continent, they might not have been seen as artists.(2 votes)
- so the basis of art vs craft can be tied to things that are part of the social elite and things that are not? for instance, art seems to hold examples/connotations with the higher class/men/the race in power at the society (white people in this context), while craft seems to be tied with women/the poor/racial minorities. this seems... very problematic. the labels need to be changed, I believe, but not to visual arts and other.(4 votes)
- Forgive me for being a poor English learner. Don't have any subtitles and I can't understand what the video says. I think the biggest difference between "art" and "crafts" is not about "beauty" but audience. The number of audiences, as well as the level (whether social status or spiritual status). There is an old saying: high and low. What is said is High tune, less chorus, while the mass music is word of mouth.
This is the difference between "art" and "crafts."(2 votes)
- At3:08, the narrator says that painting, sculpture, and architecture are forms of art. Is writing a form of art, or is it a craft?
- One way of thinking about it is that painting can be craft or it can be art. The same is true of any particular piece of writing. These are judgments.(3 votes)
When you hear the word art, what comes to mind? A painting, like the Mona Lisa, or a famous sculpture or a building? What about a vase or a quilt or a violin? Are those things art, too, or are they craft? And what's the difference anyway? It turns out that the answer is not so simple. A spoon or a saddle may be finely wrought, while a monument may be, well, uninspired. Just as not every musical instrument is utilitarian, not every painting or statue is made for its own sake. But if it's so tricky to separate art from craft, then why do we distinguish objects in this way? You could say it's the result of a dramatic historical turn of events. It might seem obvious to us today to view people, such as da Vinci or Michelangelo, as legendary artists, and, of course, they possessed extraordinary talents, but they also happened to live in the right place at the right time, because shortly before their lifetimes the concept of artists hardly existed. If you had chanced to step into a medieval European workshop, you would have witnessed a similar scene, no matter whether the place belonged to a stonemason, a goldsmith, a hatmaker, or a fresco painter. The master, following a strict set of guild statutes, insured that apprentices and journeymen worked their way up the ranks over many years of practice and well-defined stages of accomplishment, passing established traditions to the next generation. Patrons regarded these makers collectively rather than individually, and their works from Murano glass goblets, to Flemish lace, were valued as symbols of social status, not only for their beauty, but their adherence to a particular tradition. And the customer who commissioned and paid for the work, whether it was a fine chair, a stone sculpture, a gold necklace, or an entire building, was more likely to get credit than those who designed or constructed it. It wasn't until around 1400 that people began to draw a line between art and craft. In Florence, Italy, a new cultural ideal that would later be called Renaissance Humanism was beginning to take form. Florentine intellectuals began to spread the idea of reformulating classical Greek and Roman works, while placing greater value on individual creativity than collective production. A few brave painters, who for many centuries, had been paid by the square foot, successfully petitioned their patrons to pay them on the basis of merit instead. Within a single generation, people's attitudes about objects and their makers would shift dramatically, such that in 1550, Giorgio Vasari, not incidentally a friend of Michelangelo, published an influential book called, "Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects," elevating these types of creators to rock star status by sharing juicy biographical details. In the mind of the public, painting, sculpture and architecture were now considered art, and their makers creative masterminds: artists. Meanwhile, those who maintained guild traditions and faithfully produced candelsticks, ceramic vessels, gold jewelery or wrought iron gates, would be known communally as artisans, and their works considered minor or decorative arts, connoting an inferior status and solidifying the distinction between art and craft that still persists in the Western world. So, if we consider a painting by Rembrandt or Picasso art, then where does that leave an African mask? A Chinese porclein vase? A Navajo rug? It turns out that in the history of art, the value placed on innovation is the exception rather than the rule. In many cultures of the world, the distinction between art and craft has never existed. In fact, some works that might be considered craft, a Peruvian rug, a Ming Dynasty vase, a totem pole, are considered the cultures' preeminent visual forms. When art historians of the 19th Century saw that the art of some non-Western cultures did not change for thousands of years, they classified the works as primitive, suggesting that their makers were incapable of innovating and therefore were not really artists. What they didn't realize was that these makers were not seeking to innovate at all. The value of their works lay precisely in preserving visual traditions, rather than in changing them. In the last few decades, works such as quilts, ceramics and wood carvings have become more prominently included in art history textbooks and displayed in museums alongside paintings and sculpture. So maybe it's time to dispense with vague terms like art and craft in favor of a word like visual arts that encompasses a wider array of aesthetic production. After all, if our appreciation of objects and their makers is so conditioned by our culture and history, then art and its definition are truly in the eye of the beholder.