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Lesson Plans


Re: On - What Art Is

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Barbara Bridges (maine)
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 08:33:53 -0500 (CDT)


Dear Bob,
I am a little behind on my mail - I have been in a state of shell shock
upon completion of a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction here at the
University of Minnesota - but I read your remarks this morning. All I
can say is ... YES YES YES !!!! On Mon, 22 Jul 1996, Robert Alexander Fromme
wrote:

> At 01:03 PM 7/22/96 +0800, dabssw wrote:
>
> >There has been much talk on deffining art and approaches, models and
> >methods to teaching art. Recent reading has directed me to......
>
> clip.....snip.......parts deleted......
>
> >selves so that they are the men and women on the journey of discovering art
> >for their own meaning not borrowing from art already created.
> >I hope this might generate a few thoughts and ideas amongst you.
>
> As I follow this thread, I find myself thinking back to years of
> moonlighting in colleges, adjunct teaching art appreciation. One of the
> texts which we used for the course was "Artforms" by Duane and Sarah
> Preble. In the early chapters, those authors used a quote of Carroll
> Quigley, from :Needed: A Revolution in Thinking?" in The Journal of the
> National Educations Associations 57, no. 5 (May 1968):9 as follows:
>
> As a group, we have developed "a distinctive way of looking at the
> world that is not the way the world actually is but simply the way
> our group conventionally looks at our world."
>
> I include Quigley's remark because the varied e-mail exchange about the
> merits (and lack of merit) concerning certain art in contemporary museums
> illuminates the diversity in cognitive systems among our members. As each
> of us come to evaluate art works, we can not escape the system of belief
> which each of us as individuals hold as "the truth". That truth varies
> according to our group, the situations of our upbringing, our education, and
> our unique personal experiences with the creative experience , etc..
>
> The Preble text goes on to suggest that,"Every society's 'cognitive system'
> keeps it functioning; yet major human problems are caused by the fact that
> almost any group may believe that its way of seeing things is reality-- the
> way the world actually is."
>
> Of course this all leads up to the old aesthetic posturing of the
> "subjective" approach on one side, the "relativist" in the middle and the
> "objective" on the other side of any attitude toward any example of fine art.
>
> If you have learned the three positions by other names, I will give you
> the general positions.....
>
> The individual who takes a "subjective" position places a value on the idea
> that every individual who has responded to a work of art has a right to
> their unique position. They can also change their mind and there is
> value in a personal position which must be respected by others, even if it
> is not a shared opinion.
>
> The "relativist" attitude would be that we must look at a work of Fine
> Art with two concerns in mind. One must accept the subjective aspects
> which color art making and appreciation, yet....there are also intrinsic
> standards or an expected level of quality which must also enter into any
> judgment of the Fine Arts.
>
> The "objective" position will start from an assumption that there are set
> standards by which all art must be judged. They do not change and they
> have no relation to time, place (culture), or media. They are set.
>
> The previous remarks are, of course, based on the writing of Quigley and
> the Preble couple. Many of the texts which we have used for teaching in the
> middle and high school classes take related positions on the subject.
>
> Over the years, I have noticed that students who have had a chance to
> experience life and those who have traveled, understand why we
> must consider the system of thought which surrounded the artist as a
> work was created and why it is important to try to accept the limitations of
> our own background and experience when we come to the task of art
> appreciation. Some of the younger kids have a little more trouble with the
> position because they have had little experience in situations other then
> the "cognitive system" in which they have been raised.
>
>
> Bob Fromme
>