The Trouble With The Term Art Analysis

Pages: 4 (934 words) Published: March 2, 2018


In Carolyn Dean’s “The Trouble with (the Term) Art” (2006), the author explores the significance of the word art itself and dives into the deeper meaning of not only what art is, but when a piece can be labeled as art. Carolyn Dean successfully accomplishes her goal of providing readers with knowledge about the consequences of identifying art, where such a notion did or did not occur. Although Dean is pretty opinionated throughout the article, she backs up all of her thoughts by providing ample amounts of evidence and research supporting her claim. Her argument is solid and I think she provides very salient points throughout her article; however, I found her use of language hard to follow for readers who do not have such a profound background in art history.
This author encourages its audience to stay vigilant to the crime of labeling artifacts as art by simply placing them on podiums out for display. For example in the essay, Dean states, “Objects like African masks were often stripped of natural materials.” (Dean 26). Dean brings attention to the fact that today, many ancient artifacts are merely...

Art is not only about historical worth, but an aesthetic one as well. Dean’s addition of bringing in examples of how this could relate to Ancient Mayan art is brilliant because it allows readers to really grasp what she is trying to say. The author presents her case with saying “that our value system matters more than whatever system gave rise to the creation of the object in the first place.”(Dean 27). We are guilty of naming object as “art” and adding significant value to that object, without paying attention to the fact that by doing so we are recreating artifacts in the image of art. Dean makes this point evident, as she provides her readers with the thought of how modern values of art have led to more objective feel towards the arts in an abstract...
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