Wednesday, April 27, 2011

But is it Art? Some more thoughts

I'm still thinking about the whole issue of art vs. craft and the semantics of what it all means. The original post is here

Several museums and schools have removed the word craft from their names because the word has a negative connotation. As an example: The California College of Arts and Crafts changed their name to California College of the Arts. As I understand it they did not change the curriculum, just their name.

This is from the American Craft Museums web site:

"The American Craft Museum today announced that it is changing its name to Museum of Arts and Design. The Museum's new name expresses the institution's mission as a contemporary museum dedicated to celebrating materials and the processes of transforming them into expressive objects - transcending the boundaries that currently separate craft, art and design. The name change also affirms the Museum's commitment to presenting the work of artists from around the world and its role as an international educational resource." 

(BTW this is one of my favourite NYC museums. I've been there many times.)

"Craft, art and design are overlapping and inextricably linked fields of creative activity that need to be appreciated as a continuum," noted Holly Hotchner, the Museum's Director. "The new name more accurately reflects the interdisciplinary and inclusive nature of our collections and programming. We are a contemporary museum about materials and creative processes, which are at the core of all the arts. We are dedicated to exploring how today's artists and designers-coming from increasingly diverse artistic backgrounds-engage and experiment with different materials and approaches to making objects."

What do you think? Once major institutions remove the word craft from their names I think it's pretty clear just how negative the connotations of the word have become.

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