The Evolution of Art

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Stacie Mueller
Art 100
Professor Morris
24 February 2012
The Evolution of Art
To even begin to define art, we must have a starting point in history where something was first perceived as art. The question begs, though, why do we perceive it as art? To look up the word in a dictionary, you will find the term aesthetics almost always applied to its definition; however, much of we call art today is not exactly pleasing to the eye. Our shifting social attitudes have affected how art has been presented to us over time. We see depictions of hate, of war, of death, and many other forms of sorrow and horror. Moreover, we must consider how technology and modern conveniences have allowed a greater realm in the world of art: Photography and Photoshop programs, computer generated graphics, and applications for use with tablets and smart phones that allow us to modify images in an infinite number of ways. Loosely defined, the word art seems to be applied to almost anything: The written word, photography, performance arts, computer graphics, commercial art, fashion, culinary, comics, and so on. For purposes of this research paper, however, the focus will be on the more concrete forms of art that we’ve come to know throughout history. The definition of art has certainly shifted and changed over time and across cultures; in this research paper we will explore how art has evolved.

Art is many things to one person, and certainly carries different meanings for another person. However, anything and everything cannot be art or it would be difficult to appreciate art’s true essence; the quality that brings forth contemplation and deliberation. Besides creativity, art takes deep thought, imagination, and accomplishes a specific goal. Artists help us see things that matter and give us a different perspective with a specific goal in mind.

The earliest art was discovered on cave walls in Lascaux, France. Paintings on the walls included large numbers of animals in various...
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