Western Influence In Art History

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Human expression from early civilizations provides insight into the culture of the party creating it, and additionally offers a glimpse into what ideas and beliefs captivated the minds of such groups. Without a direct line of communication, however, it is difficult to definitively construct the meaning of the creation. In "The Trouble with (The Term) Art," 2006, Carolyn Dean argues the phrase, "primitive art," and other labels used to describe non-western works before the concept of art developed, are troublesome because the definition of art itself is flimsy. In addition, Dean questions whether western civilization is doing a disservice to pieces from regions such as Africa, the Americas, and Oceania, by attempting to decipher their significance from a notion that was not established "until at least the 18th century." She further explores the idea that art scholars perhaps say more about themselves then the pieces they study when interpreting ancient fragments of communication, and she encourages the discussion of western influence in the field of art history, through the examination of art on the "fringes," described above as locations beyond the scope of western culture.…show more content…
She cautions that the implication of art has shifted over time, for example it used to only include objects that could be transported and owned, thus the essence of art is not a fixed translation. The only solid connotation, which can be derived from the term then, is that the label implies importance. Accordingly, identifying what deserves emphasis is a difficult
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