Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art

By Evelyn Payne Hatcher | Go to book overview

comes to us second hand adds greatly to the enjoyment of the fragments we see.

If for whatever reason people accept different configurations more readily in art than in other aspects of life, then art is not only important for exploring potential change, but becomes important in the expansion of perception of the viewpoints of other persons and other peoples. Learning to accept and appreciate various artistic expressions sometimes helps dissolve ancient bigotries, if not the ancient hates. If it is true that there are many similarities in esthetic perception, and if it is true that art forms are affected in many ways by various facets of human life, then these fragments are important doorways into other lives and lifestyles.

There is a kind of spiralling dialog that goes on between the two aspects of the mind. The analytic part asks questions like "What did they use it for?" and "What is it a symbol of?" and the synthesizing part of the mind puts whatever bits it has together with the visual image to get a new gestalt and sudden insight that makes one feel the piece, and what it may have meant to the people, and one can ask more questions, then go look again, and ask, and look. . . . The appreciation that comes through understanding and the understanding that comes through appreciation are both needed to approach the place of art in human life.

The constant interplay between explanations of the emic and the etic, between contexts and comparisons, illuminates the fundamental similarities of human beings and their art, the conditions that bring forth some differences and similarities, and the amazing uniqueness of each human being and each work of art.


Further Reading

Altman 1973; Armstrong 1971, 1921; Child and Siroto, and Sieber, in Jopling 1971; Crowley, Ladd, Mills, and Thompson in d'Azevedo 1973; d'Azevedo 1958; Hospers 1969; Maquet 1971; Warren and Andrews 1977.

-207-

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Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Theoretical Note xi
  • About the Illustrations xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Introduction to the Second Edition xvii
  • Chapter 1 - Contexts and Comparisons: The Anthropological Approach 1
  • Further Reading 20
  • Chapter 2 - Where? The Geographical Dimension 21
  • Further Reading 54
  • Chapter 3 - How? The Technological Means 55
  • Further Reading 84
  • Chapter 4 - Who? The Psychological Perspective 85
  • Further Reading 112
  • Chapter 5 - Why? Social Contexts and Social Functions 113
  • Further Reading 134
  • Chapter 6 - "What. . . ?" Art as Communication 135
  • Further Reading 166
  • Chapter 7 - When and Whence? The Time Dimension 167
  • Further Reading 196
  • Chapter 8 - The Esthetic Mystery 197
  • Further Reading 207
  • Chapter 9 - The Global Context: The 15th Century 209
  • Chapter 10 - Globalization: The 20th Century 229
  • Ethnographic Notes and Index 255
  • Glossary with notes on various usages 287
  • Bibliography 303
  • Bibliography for Second Edition 327
  • Subject and Author Index 331
  • A NOTE ON THE TYPE IN THIS BOOK 337
  • About the Author *
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