On artistic snobbery

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I was reading an interesting blog by Jane Friedman today, on whether shutting out negative and combative media is good for you. I’ve been considering doing the same, in the light of all the hypocritical, racist and anti-feminist language in the health care debate, and it made me think of Byrne.
She was quite selective in what and whom she listened to for entertainment and information (never missed PBS but hardly watched anything else) but surrounded herself with people who discussed all viewpoints. Where she was utterly unegalitarian was art. To get Byrne Miller’s attention, art had to be serious. No “loving hands at home” attempts at any art form – dance, music, painting, literature – made the grade.

I tend to agree with her but I wonder if disregarding community-level art creates an audience shortage for the greats? Do we need to experience “making art” ourselves at some level to appreciate and support the fine arts? Is the danger only when we congratulate ourselves too much for effort, without serious critique?

One thought on “On artistic snobbery

    Lolita said:
    March 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    I don’t know what Jane Friedman had to say about dissenting comment but I, for thing, go along with that old adage that it’s good to know what your enemy is thinking…ALTHOUGH too much negativity can certainly ruin one’s day! As to Byrne (that was a good stretch there, TB) and her view of “at home” art, I think I’m more in your camp. If we don’t experiment with different art forms, how can we appreciate the difficulty in a particular piano piece, a chorale concert, a particular dance step? We might be able to appreciate the beauty in a performance but not the difficulty. The more levels at which we can view something would seem to enhance the viewing…or it could be like making sausage…you don’t want to watch…


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