World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Anthropology of art

Article Id: WHEBN0003788923
Reproduction Date:

Title: Anthropology of art  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anthropology, Anthropology of media, Museum anthropology, Visual anthropology, Robert Hugh Layton
Collection: Anthropology, Art History, Visual Arts Theory
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Anthropology of art

Anthropology of art is a sub-field in social anthropology dedicated to the study of art in different cultural contexts. The anthropology of art focuses on historical, economic and aesthetic dimensions in non-Western art forms, including what is known as 'tribal art'.

Contents

  • History 1
  • The Problem of Art 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

Franz Boas, one of the pioneers of modern anthropology, conducted many field studies of the arts, helping create a foundation to the field. His book, Primitive Art (1927), summarizes his main insights into so-called 'primitive' art forms, with a detailed case study on the arts of the Northwest Pacific Coast.[1] The famous anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss took Boas' analyses further in his book The Way of the Masks, where he traced changes in the plastic form of Northwest Pacific masks to patterns of intercultural interaction among the indigenous peoples of the coast.[2]

The Problem of Art

One of the central problems in the anthropology of art concerns the universality of 'art' as a cultural phenomenon. Several anthropologists have noted that the Western categories of 'painting', 'sculpture', or 'literature', conceived as independent artistic activities, do not exist, or exist in a significantly different form, in most non-Western contexts.[3] Thus, there is no consensus on a single, cross-cultural definition of 'art' in anthropology.[4][5] To surmount this difficulty, anthropologists of art have focused on formal features in objects which, without exclusively being 'artistic', have certain evident 'aesthetic' qualities. Boas' Primitive Art, Claude Lévi-Strauss' The Way of the Masks (1982) or Geertz's 'Art as Cultural System' (1983) are some examples in this trend to transform the anthropology of 'art' into an anthropology of culturally-specific 'aesthetics'. More recently, in his book Art and Agency, Alfred Gell proposed a new definition of 'art' as a complex system of intentionality, where artists produce art objects to effect changes in the world, including (but not restricted to) changes in the aesthetic perceptions of art audiences.[6] Gell's ideas have stirred a large controversy in the anthropology of art in the 2000s.[7][8][9]

Bibliography

  • Boas, Franz. (1927) Primitive Art. New York: Dover
  • Coote, Jeremy and Anthony Shelton, eds. (1992) Anthropology Art and Aesthetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press ISBN 0-19-827945-0
  • Forge, Anthony, ed. (1973) Primitive Art & Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Forge, Anthony. (1979) The Problem of Meaning in Art, in Exploring the Visual Art of Oceania. Sidney M. Mead, ed. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, pp. 278–286
  • Geertz, Clifford. (1983). Art as a Cultural System, in Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books
  • Gell, Alfred. (1998) Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory of Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-828014-9
  • Hatcher, Evelyn Payne. (1985) Art As Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art. Lanham: University Press of America ISBN 0-89789-628-9
  • Layton, Robert. (1981) The Anthropology of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0-521-36894-0
  • Lévi-Strauss, Claude. (1982) The Way of the Masks, translated by Sylvia Modelski. Seattle: University of Washington Press
  • Morphy, Howard and Morgan Perkins, eds. (2006) The Anthropology of Art: A Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing
  • Munn, Nancy. (1973) Walpiri Iconography. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • Price, Sally. (1989) Primitive Art in Civilized Places. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

See also

References

  1. ^ Franz Boas. (1927) Primitive art.
  2. ^ Claude Lévi-Strauss. (1982) The Way of the Masks.
  3. ^ Robert Layton. (1981) The Anthropology of Art.
  4. ^ Howard Morphy & Morgan Perkins. (2006) Introduction, in The Anthropology of Art: A Reader.
  5. ^ G. Angioni, Fare dire sentire: l'identico e il diverso nelle culture, Nuoro, il Maestrale, 2011
  6. ^ Alfred Gell. (1998) Art and Agency.
  7. ^ Ross Bowden. (2004) A Critique of Alfred Gell on Art and Agency. Oceania, 74: 309-325
  8. ^ Robert H. Layton. (2003) Art and Agency: A reassessment. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 9: 447-464
  9. ^ Howard Morphy. (2009). Art as a Mode of Action: Some Problems with Gell’s Art and Agency. Journal of Material Culture, 14 (1): 5-27

External links

  • http://ssl.brookes.ac.uk/anthro-art/index.html


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.