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Lesson Plans

First Art Signature

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Peggy Woolsey (woolspeg)
Sun, 12 Jan 1997 21:16:02 +0800

I was wondering if there is a name that the
>>art world seems to think is the first recognizable one for creating
>>art with a signature. --from Ellen

> Known artists go back farther but I don't
>think they gave evidence of their names on their works--from Becky

Hello! I'm following this discussion with interest. My first degree was in
antropology (my fine art and teaching degrees came much later). In the
study of antropology it often struck me that we were incapable of moving
from our 20th centruy centrisim towards any real understanding of previous
cultures. It is nearly impossible, I believe, to compare our world views to
theirs in any honest of meaningful way. For example there has been great
debate over the years wether matriarchies ever really existed. It is hard
to imagine the unknown. The questions asked by the fifth grader about who
the first artist was, poses the kind of dilemma I'm referring to. It seems
possible to me that the desire to stamp a personal identity on what may
essentially have been a collaborative world view might be understood only
in relation to relatively recent history. Or in other words, that those
early humans who left their haunting hand prints on rocks and cave walls
might have viewed those handprints in ways unfathomable to us.
One anthropological tecnique for extropolating meaning from ancient
culural remains is to look at modern day "primitive" societies. In many of
these cultures, especially in many African ones, the artist participates in
life the way everyone else does. Signing painted walls for example, would
be as unthinkable as a farmer signing a grain silo. The artist in these
cultures enjoys food, clothing and shelter renumeration for their work, but
are not otherwise singled out for star status. No one is. It is possible
that survival is too dependent on collaboration and cooperation to glorify
individuals. This I think, is a hard concept to propose to children raised
on Michael Jordan and the attention given to celebrities including some
artists. Peggy

--On the Road of life, there are passengers, and there are drivers. And
there are various animals that get run over by

  • Maybe reply: Robert Alexander Fromme: "Re: First Art Signature"