Art versus Craft

I’ve been reading some of the book that comes with this module and I read that the Ancient Greeks did not distinguish between Art and Craft.  It is a relatively new concept due mainly to the establishment of the art academies of England, France and Italy back in the 16th century when there came a parting of the ways and according to the rule they set up,  Craft was a functional or decorative object whereas Fine Art was visual.

It is especially noticeable in the world of textiles where it is very hard if not impossible to find any examples being exhibited as fine art.  It always annoys me when an expert describes something as “craft” and in such a derogatory way.  There was an example in the recent BBC series ‘Show Me the Monet’.

This piece by Amanda Richardson was turned down by all three of the judges.  It was on a few months ago but if I remember correctly they all thought it was a painting until they got close up then their attitudes changed from “Fine Art” to “Craft”.  In my opinion it is Fine Art and even the most hardened of the judges David Lee did change his mind but not enough to include it in the final exhibition.  They only had to take that one small step, be brave and pioneer the way for textiles to be regularly included in Fine Art exhibitions in the future.

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