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Lesson Plans

Re: art theory Q for y'all: Abstract/"Decorative" art and Sex/Racism:

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Ginny Rockwood (
07 Oct 1999 19:42:06 GMT

Historically in the male dominant culture, much of women's art and the art
of many cultures around the world (non-European) has been reduced to the
adjectives decorative and primitive. This leads us to believe that they are
subordinate to and not as valid or as important as"real" art that comes from
European traditions. Attitudes are slowly changing, yet we still maintain
language that keeps non-European and women's arts separate from"real" art. We
still use the terms crafts and fine art. Traditional women's art (quilt
making, embroidery, weaving, etc.) is still often relegated to the category
of crafts which many still regard as not being "real" art. Why do we use the
two terms? Your students can think about who determines what art is and what
it's for and what the implications are. Can they come up with a list of
criteria which determines if something is art? Do art textbooks determine
what art is? Do politicians (the ones with the power to divy out -or
withhold- arts funding to those they deem worthy?) Do art teachers? Do
My thoughts are starting to ramble, better end here. Hope this offers some
ideas for your students.