Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

For December 5: The Value of Art

We’ve agreed to address this topic–long on the “docket”–next week. For our purposes, “Art” means the “Arts”–without limit to form.

From my perspective, I think the most interesting discussion will be around who should pay for artistic works and to whom should these works be available. The answer will obviously be a mix of several sources and venues, but I’m thinking:

  • How do we feel about private collections (i.e., privately owned and not available to the public)?
  • Under what circumstances should public funds be used to “support the arts?” Or should art intended for public display rely on private “patrons?”
  • Should public support be conditioned, in some way, on content? (I’m thinking of some of the controversial shows that have been (?) displayed in public spaces.)
  • How do we evaluate (and quantify) the benefit of art on society, etc. (the general welfare)?

Feel free to add a comment if you come across a good source for us to review before Monday’s discussion.

1 Comment

  • “Art”
    By Yasmina Reza
    Translated by Christopher Hampton

    Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and Olivier Award for Best Comedy,
    ‘Art’ begins by asking an age-old question – what IS art?

    After Serge purchases an obscenely expensive white painting (with white diagonal lines), his friend Marc is sent into a fury of disbelief. As Marc, Serge and their friend Ivan square off over the canvas, the argument over aesthetics becomes an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, the conversation becomes filled with that which should never be said among friends.

    Featuring John Lincoln, Joshua McCarey and Matt Hurley


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