A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression

A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression

by Howard Risatti
     
 

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What is craft? How is it different from fine art or design? In A Theory of Craft, Howard Risatti examines these issues by comparing handmade ceramics, glass, metalwork, weaving, and furniture to painting, sculpture, photography, and machine-made design from Bauhaus to the Memphis Group. He describes craft as uniquely blending function with a deeper expressionSee more details below

Overview

What is craft? How is it different from fine art or design? In A Theory of Craft, Howard Risatti examines these issues by comparing handmade ceramics, glass, metalwork, weaving, and furniture to painting, sculpture, photography, and machine-made design from Bauhaus to the Memphis Group. He describes craft as uniquely blending function with a deeper expression of human values that transcend culture, time, and space. Craft must articulate a role for itself in contemporary society, says Risatti; otherwise it will be absorbed by fine art or design, and its singular approach to understanding the world will be lost.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This scholarly work lays out reasons for the historical dichotomy in Western philosophy between fine art and craft. Risatti (art history, emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.; Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art) argues that aesthetic standards for craft separate from those of the traditional fine arts are necessary for craft to receive the status it deserves in the art community. He points out that non-Western traditional societies don't make such distinctions and that their artwork is a functioning part of daily life. Since fine craftworks in the marketplace now approach the prices paid for fine art, this is a problem that may be solving itself. Suitable for academic art libraries.


—Constance Ashmore Fairchild
From the Publisher
A well-organized argument for the consideration of craft as art and its elevation in status. . . . An important contribution to the field of contemporary craft activity and its contributions.—Wintherthur Portfolio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807889077
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
An unprecedented effort to define crafts and to place the work in a cultural context, both differentiating it from and aligning it with other aesthetic activities. Risatti's fluent, knowledgeable approach and his emphatic categorizing should be widely read—not because he offers a final answer but because his extraordinary book is so stimulating and provocative.—Janet Koplos, senior editor, Art in America

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