What is art? To define it I made several serious dives into the depths of Google, you know way beyond page 3, I discovered that there were very few definitions for art beyond those in various dictionaries and those of Leo Tolstoy in his book, What Is Art. My personal thoughts are that art is an outward expression of our inner feelings and emotions expressed in any medium the artist chooses. I then felt that maybe a comparison between what is art and what is craft would help me to answer the original question.
Thankfully my search was satisfied with a web article that compared art and craft. Probhat states that “Art is a form of work that is the expression of emotions.’ Further stating that ‘art is often defined as unstructured and open-ended, it has no limitations of expression.’ (Prabhat 2011) I agree with these thoughts.
I disagree when the other identifies craft as “a form of work, which results in tangible output, for example, molding and carving. In addition, Prabhat states that in art, it is the emotions that flow out, whereas, in craft, no emotion is involved. Pottery, metal works, glass works, and jewelry are some examples of craft works.’ It seems to be rather arbitrary to classify these are only crafts when there are many examples of each of these items in art museums.
After considering these thoughts for several days I think art can only be defined as art by the person who creates it and those who view it.
Prabhat S. “Difference Between Art and Craft.” DifferenceBetween.net. January 14, 2011 < https://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-art-and-craft/ >.
Question #2 What is Art History?
The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica define art history in the manner. “Art history also called art historiography, historical study of the visual arts, being concerned with identifying, classifying, describing, evaluating, interpreting, and understanding the art products and historic development of the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, drawing, printmaking, photography, interior design, etc.’(Britannica 2019) Art history provides another view of past cultures. Their language and written words may be long ago lost or forgotten but through their expressions in art, we can still make a human connection with what the artist was experiencing.
Marco Sampaolo, Grace Young “Art History’ Encyclopedia Britannica, January 16, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/art/art-history