Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts

By Hans Abbing | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
The Government Serves Art Do Art Subsidies Serve the Public Interest or Group Interests?

Opinions on Government Support for the Arts

Alex asked some friends why they think the government supports the arts.
Paul, a composer of contemporary `classical' music, observes “I don't
think there would be modern music without government aid”. When I
remind him of the existence of pop music he is embarrassed. He probably
wanted to say that pop music is not real music, but he doesn't. Instead he
talks about the great classical tradition. “I think it is absolutely necessary
that it continues. And consistent renewal is the only way. I strongly believe
that in the long run innovation is in everybody's interest. But even those who
love classical music do not seem to be that interested. I hate to say this, but
people don't even know what's good for them. And so the government has
to take responsibility. And not supporting or not supporting music enough
is not only shortsighted; it's also extremely unfair. Even with subsidies I earn
very little and so bear a large part of the costs of my own artistic work. With
out any support, artists like me would carry the full burden of the costs of
the little innovation that still remains. I think it would be very unfair to stop
subsidization.”

Peter is a visual artist who works in the `fringe' avant-garde circuit. He just
manages to eke out a living and continues to make his art because of the
availability of all sorts of small subsidies. As long as he can do his own
thing, he doesn't consider his low income as unfair. “It is the price I pay. But
I do think society should also pay a price. Art comments on society and has
values that are independent of market value. I think it's the duty of artists to
offer critical commentaries through their art — also on the influence of the
market and the role of money in society. But one cannot expect people to
pay for painful comments. Therefore, society should furnish a free haven
for art outside the market.” For Peter this is the raison d'être of subsidiza
tion. “If subsidization were stopped, art would become overwhelmingly
commercial and lose its sting. In the end, society would emerge as the real
loser.”

Anna is an art administrator. As a civil servant she worked for a government
body that issues subsidies to artists. Now she is running an art festival,

-203-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 2721

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.