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Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Fallin’ Comrades
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Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Fallin’ Comrades
Photo By: SGT Jess Williams
To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com
U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History
After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.
On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.
In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work… Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm…”
In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.
In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion …to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”
“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”
Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.
To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.
The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.
Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.
Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.
Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.
In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.
Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.
While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.
In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”
The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.
In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”
In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.
The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”
In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.
As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”
At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.
When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.
In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.
The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.
During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.
The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.
In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.
Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”
The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.
In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.
After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.
The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc… New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.
The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.
The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.
The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:
* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc…)
* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence…)
* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.
* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things …).
* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.
* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).
* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).
* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).
* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc…).
* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.
* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.
What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc… were far away places that most had not visited.
As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.
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IMG_5153 Ludwig Richter. 1803-1884. Dresde Crossing the river near Schreckenstein. Promenade en barque près de Schreckenstein. 1837. Dresde. Gemälde Galerie Neue Meister. Albertinum.
Image by jean louis mazieres
Ludwig Richter. 1803-1884. Dresde Crossing the river near Schreckenstein. Promenade en barque près de Schreckenstein.
1837. Dresde. Gemälde Galerie Neue Meister. Albertinum.
Le peintre représente le Romantisme-Biedermeier. Un romantisme qualifié de petit bourgeois par "les esprits d’avant garde". Les thèmes et l’esprit de cette école sont romantiques (paysages, vie privée) mais la manière de peintre est classique : le dessin est bien fini, soigné. Rien à voir avec le romantisme d’un Delacroix ou de Karl Spitzweg. Ami de Koch et Carolsfeld
The painter represents the Romanticism-Biedermeier. A romanticism qualified as a petty bourgeois by "avant-garde spirits". The themes and spirit of this school are romantic (landscapes, privacy) but the way of painter is classic: the drawing is well finished, neat. Nothing to do with the romanticism of a Delacroix or Karl Spitzweg. Friend of Koch and Carolsfeld
L’ART, LE BEAU ET LE LAID
"Tout l’art florentin depuis Giotto et tout au long du Quattrocento, possède cette stupéfiante qualité de vérité absolue, reconnue. L’effet immédiat d’un grand Giotto ou d’un Masaccio est de laisser le spectateur sans voix. Cela s’appelait autrefois la Beauté."
MARIE MAC CARTHY "Les Pierres de Florence" 1956.
"Everything Florentine art from Giotto and throughout the Quattrocento has this amazing quality of absolute truth recognized. The immediate effect of a large Giotto or Masaccio is to let the audience speechless. It s’ once called Beauty. "
MARY MAC CARTHY "The Stones of Florence" 1956.
Pendant des millénaires, en Europe, et dans toutes les civilisations, "le Beau" a été un but et un critère de l’Art, notamment en peinture.
1° Le Beau était le but poursuivi par l’artiste quand il peignait un tableau. De l’époque médiévale à l’Art Moderne, l’artiste a toujours eu pour finalité le Beau. Même quand il entendait peindre une situation dramatique, ou horrible comme les événements de la passion du Christ (Retable d’Issenheim) ou l’Enfer ( Bouts, Bosch). Même quand il a entendu peindre les horreurs de la guerre, comme Jacques Callot, Goya ou Otto Dix.
2° Le Beau était reconnu comme tel par consensus.
Comme l’a écrit Mikel Dufrenne dans un article de l’encyclopédie Universalis, le Beau est défini par trois critères, que l’on dira objectifs : L’opinion des élites, l’opinion commune de la population, le temps.
Une excellente définition, pratique, pragmatique, qui ne se noie pas dans les concepts abstraits, la recherche d’une Essence du Beau, et utilise un langage parfaitement compréhensible pour tous.
Ces définitions laissent bien sûr la place à l’opinion individuelle et aux goûts de chacun. Comme l’a écrit aussi Mikel Dufrenne dans le même article : "L’œuvre d’art s’impose avec la force de l’évidence, pour le bonheur de qui la contemple."
C’est un quatrième critère, plus subjectif, qui varie en fonction des individus. Telle oeuvre peut procurer du bonheur à telle personne, et pas, ou moins, à telle autre. Mais d’une part le but essentiel de l’artiste était de procurer un bonheur à son public, et ce bonheur était ressenti par une majorité d’hommes de milieux différents.
L’attitude totalement relativiste qui consiste à dire qu’il n’y a pas de critère du Beau, et que tout est affaire de goût personnel, est fausse, par excès, et par méconnaissance des réalités historiques établies.
Il est vrai qu’il n’existe pas de définition, abstraite, philosophique du Beau. Il semble que les grands philosophes aient tous échoué dans toutes leurs tentatives pour en une proposer une. Il n’existe pas non plus de définition mathématique du Beau. Il est donc inutile de se casser à la tête à rechercher des définitions abstraites du Beau. Mais le Beau n’en existe pas moins.
Le Beau est un fait d’expérience dont toute l’histoire humaine témoigne, dans toutes les civilisations.
Le Beau est un sentiment de satisfaction, une émotion positive, partagés par une large fraction d’une société, peuples et élites ensemble, cette conjonction est nécessaire, et confirmés par le temps.
Ce qui a changé avec l’Art Contemporain, progressivement, mais très nettement à partir des années 1950, c’est que le Beau n’a plus été un but de l’art. Le Laid a même été revendiqué comme une recherche légitime de l’art.
Comme le constate très réalistement l’historien d’art Ernst Gombrich, l’art est devenu "une aventure aux confins de l’impossible et l’art du laid."
L’adhésion idéologique de l’Art Contemporain au Laid est un constat banal, qui a été fait de multiples fois, et qui a été pleinement revendiqué par tous ses théoriciens.
Le critique d’art Michel Tapié (1909-1987) constate dans les années 1950-60 que "l’Art Moderne -entendez Art Contemporain- est né le jour où l’idée d’Art et celle de Beauté se sont trouvées disjointes." Il ne critique pas cette disjonction, bien au contraire il la constate et la justifie. "nous avons changé de valeurs".
Cela ne veut pas dire que cela a été pour le mieux ! Il est très significatif que toute l’Europe des Musées distingue, dans presque toutes les langues, les Musées des "Beaux Arts" des "Musées d’Art Contemporain". C’est l’officialisation du divorce de l’Art et du Beau.
Cette Nouveauté dans l’histoire de l’humanité n’est certainement pas sans signification ni conséquences.
Il n’est sans aucun doute pas indifférent qu’une société décide que son art officiel, en peinture et en sculpture, n’aura plus le Beau comme but, et proclame que le Laid, et l’Absurde, sont des valeurs esthétiques légitimes.
Les philosophes ont beaucoup discuté des rapports entre l’esthétique et l’éthique, le Beau et le Bien. Ils ont généralement conclu qu’il existait entre ces concepts fondamentaux, spécifiques à l’humanité, des rapports étroits et des relations de convergences.
L’art contemporain officiel est en réalité facile à comprendre : le Laid et l’Absurde sont le snobisme de cet art. C’est à dire une manière pour l’élite éclairée, initiée, de se reconnaître, de se différencier et de dire merde aux peuples non éclairés.
Car telle est la doctrine démocratique :
1° La légitimité politique est dans le peuple. C’est le principe public, affiché, exotérique.
2° La Raison est seulement chez les élites éclairées. C’est le principe secret, esotérique.
Cela est devenu possible au cours de la seconde moitié du 20è siècle quand l’art (peinture et sculpture) a pu cesser d’être un mode de communication entre les élites et les peuples comme il l’était aux temps de Rubens.
Les élites contemporaines ont à leur disposition des moyens de propagande nouveaux, dont ne disposaient pas les anciennes élites, autrement plus efficaces que l’art : l’enseignement obligatoire, les grands médias (presse, cinema, radio, télévision) et la publicité.
Dès lors l’art officiel pouvait cesser d’être intersocial, l’art n’était plus indispensable comme moyen de communication entre les élites et les peuples. L’art officiel pouvait couper les ponts avec les populations, et devenir une réserve à l’usage des seuls éclairés. Une réserve exclusive pour les Sages et les Gardiens, et interdite au gens du commun.
Pour y parvenir Le Laid et l’Absurde étaient à la fois les défenses et les clés tout à fait appropriées : Le Laid et l’Absurde constituent des barrières fortement dissuasives pour la majorité de la population, et sont des clefs tout à fait sélectives, car peu osent s’en servir. Pour forcer le passage et entrer dans la Réserve il fallait les reconnaître comme telles, et accepter de jouer ce jeu là.
C’est ainsi que les gens du commun restent à la porte des grands musées d’art contemporain, et se contentent de la photographie, de l’art commercial, de l’art mural….destinés à tout le monde. Tandis que les élites peuvent jouir de l’atmosphère raréfiée des sommets de l’art contemporain.
THE ART, THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE UGLY
For millennia, in Europe, and in all civilizations, "the Beautiful" was a goal and a criterion of art, particularly in painting.
1 The Beautiful was the aim pursued by the artist when he painted a picture. From medieval times to Modern Art, the artist has allways had intented the Beautiful. Even when he intended to paint a dramatic situation, or horrible, as the events of the Passion of Christ (Issenheim Altarpiece) or Hell (Bouts, Bosch). Even when he heard paint the horrors of war, as Jacques Callot, Goya and Otto Dix.
2. The Beautiful was recognized as such by consensus.
As Mikel Dufrenne wrote in an article in the Encyclopedia Universalis, the Beau is defined by three criteria objectives: The opinion of elites, the common opinion of the population, the time.
An excellent definition, practical, pragmatic, that does not drown in abstract concepts, the search for an Essence of Beauty, and uses an understandable language.
These definitions leave room to the individual opinion and tastes. As written also Mikel Dufrenne in the same article: "The work of art is imposed on all, with the strength of the evidence, to the delight of the beholder." It is a fourth criterion, more subjective, which varies depending on individuals. Such work can bring happiness to such a person, and not, or less, to another. But firstly, the primary aim of the artist was to provide happiness to his audience, and this happiness was felt by a majority of men of different backgrounds.
The fully relativistic attitude of saying that there is no criterion of the Beautiful, and that everything is matter of personal taste, is false, by excess and by ignorance of the established historical realities. It is true that there is no definition, abstract, philosophical of the Beautiful. It seems that the great philosophers have all failed in their attempts to propose a definition of the Beautiful. There is also no mathematical definition of the Beautiful. There is no need to break the head to search for abstract definitions of the Beautiful. But the Beautiful does exists nonetheless.
The Beautiful is a fact of experience, which all of human history testifies, in all civilizations.
The Beautiful is a sense of satisfaction, a positive emotion, shared by a large section of society, elites and peoples together, this combination is absolutely necessary, and confirmed by time.
The Beautiful is a fact of experience. The Beautiful is a feeling of satisfaction, shared by a large section of society, and confirmed by time.
What has changed with the Contemporary Art, gradually, but very clearly from the 1950s is that Beautiful was no longer a purpose of art. The Ugly has even been claimed as a legitimate pursuit of art.
As noted very realistic art historian, Ernst Gombrich, the art has become "an adventure to the borders of the impossible and the art of the ugly."
The ideological accession of Contemporary Art at the Ugly is a banal observation, which was done multiple times, and has been fully claimed by its theorists.
The art critic Michel Tapié (1909-1987) notes that in 1950-60 "Contemporary Art is born on the day when the idea of Art and that of the beauty found disjointed." He does not criticize this disjunction, on the contrary he finds good and justifies it. "We have changed values."
This is not to say that it was for the best! It is very significant that all of Europe Museums distinguishes between Museums of the "Beaux Arts" of the "Museum of Contemporary Art". This is the formalization of the divorce between the Art and the Beautiful.
This novelty in the history of mankind is certainly not without meaning and consequences.
It is undoubtedly not indifferent that a society decides that its official art, in painting and sculpture, will no longer have the Beautiful as its goal, and proclaims that the Laid and the Absurd are legitimate aesthetic values . The philosophers have discussed much the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, the Beautiful and the Good. They have generally concluded that there are close relationships and convergence relationships between these fundamental concepts, specific to humanity.
Official contemporary art is actually easy to understand: the Ugly and the Absurd are the snobbery of this art. That is to say a way for the enlightened elite, initiated, to recognise themselves, to differentiate themselves and to say shit to the unenlightened people.
For such is the democratic doctrine:
1. The Political legitimacy is in the people. It is the public principle, displayed, exoteric.
2. The Reason is only among the enlightened elites. This is the secret, esoteric principle
This became possible during the second half of the 20th century when art (painting and sculpture) could cease to be a mode of communication between elites and peoples, as it was for example in the days of Rubens.
The contemporary elites have at their disposal new means of propaganda, which lacked the former elites, far more effective than art: compulsory education, the mass media (press, cinema, radio, television) and advertising.
Henceforth the official art could cease to be intersocial, art was no longer indispensable as a means of communication between the elites and the peoples. Official art could cut bridges with the common people, and become a reserve for the use of the enlightened alone. An exclusive reserve for the Wise and the Guardians, and forbidden to ordinary people.
To achieve this, the Ugly and the Absurd were both the most appropriate defenses and keys: The Laid and the Absurd constitute barriers that are strongly dissuasive for the majority of the population and are very selective keys, because few dare to make use of it. To force the passage and enter the Reserve it was necessary to recognize them as such, and to accept to play this game .
Thus the common people remain at the door of the great museums of contemporary art, and are satisfied with photography, commercial art, mural art …. intended for everyone. While the elites can enjoy the rarefied atmosphere of the peaks of contemporary art.
Classic Mary Janes for children are typically made of black leather or patent leather, have one thin strap fastened with a buckle or button, a broad and rounded toebox, low heels, and thin outsoles.
Although generally associated with child girls nowadays, and to a lesser extent teenage girls and women, Mary Janes have also been worn by males throughout history. To cite a few examples:
– Some men during the Renaissance, including kings Henry VIII of England, Francis I and Charles IX of France, etc. (as can be seen in paintings from that era).
– Some men and boys in imperial China (as can be seen in old photographs/postcards).
– Some boys since the 19th century, particularly in the first half of the 20th century (as can be seen in old photographs/postcards or Buster Brown comics and films), and to a lesser extent after World War II (mainly in elite or high-profile families: John F. Kennedy’s son at the former’s funeral, British princes William and Harry in the late 1980s, etc.).
Although less popular than in the past, Mary Janes remain a timeless classic of children’s fashion and, for many people, a symbol of girlhood. Moreover, Mary Janes are a preferred accessory of many traditional or folk costumes, such as those of the flamenco female dancer and of the typical woman in Mao’s China.
Mary Jane was a character created by Richard Outcault for his comic strip, Buster Brown, which was first published in 1902. She was the sister of the title character, Buster Brown. In 1904, Outcault traveled to the St. Louis World’s Fair and sold licenses to up to 200 companies to use the Buster Brown characters to advertise their products. Among them was the Brown Shoe Company, who later hired actors to tour the country, performing as the Buster Brown characters in theaters and stores. This strategy helped the Brown Shoe Company become the most prominently associated brand with the Buster Brown characters. The style of shoe both Buster Brown and Mary Jane wore came to be known by her name, Mary Jane.
While the classic Mary Jane still retains its wide popularity and appeal, today’s more stylish Mary Janes tend to be platform styles, with 1-cm to 3-cm (½-in to 1-in) outsoles and 8-cm to 13-cm (3-in to 5-in) "chunky" heels, often with exaggerated grommets or buckles. These styles were especially popular in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s, within punk rock, psychobilly, and goth subcultures. Many times the wearers would accent the look with knee-high knit socks in dark-colored stripes or patterns and/or some form of hosiery (stockings/pantyhose), and often complete the look with a plaid, pleated schoolgirl-style skirt.
Mary Janes are a popular part of kinderwhore and Lolita fashion. A pump with a strap across the instep may be referred to as a "Mary Jane pump", although it does not have the low heels or wide toe of the original Mary Jane (and a pump is generally strapless by definition).