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Art Learning

7). While Lowenfeld and Brittain may attempt to operationalize some of the concepts developed by theoreticians such as Dewey and Read their work is still tightly circumscribed. Thus, as anyone's experience makes perfectly clear, Read's notion of art as the basis of education is no more widely accepted than it was half a century ago, and Dewey's attempt to redefine art's place on a continuum running from aesthetic experience to experience in everyday life has fared little better.

Dewey's principal thesis is that there is "a continuity between the refined and intensified forms of experience that are works of art and the everyday events, doings, and sufferings that are universally recognized to constitute experience" (1934, p. 3). This has practical implications, especially in terms of education, because those human creations that are valued as art usually acquire an existence apart from ordinary experience and the sense of this continuity is lost. The individual who tries to experience art on its pedestal will often, therefore, neglect this essential connection. The result of this is that many people approach the pedestal with trepidation--unsure of possessing the necessary knowledge or critical apparatus needed for art's appreciation.

But this idea also serves Dewey as the starting point for a new aesthetics, necessitated by the fact that previous aesthetic theories had begun from "a ready-made compartmentalization" or other conceptions of art that viewed it in isolation from ordinary experience (1934, p. 11). When beginning from a notion of the transcendent spiritual goals and qualities of art, Dewey argues, previous theorizers, obscured "the way in which these works idealize qualities found in common experience" (p. 11). In his view, the varieties of pleasure experienced by the individual who rejoices in a blue sky, follows the movement of a butterfly or a speeding fire engine, or chooses the colors of her/his clothing ar...

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Art Learning. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:04, November 28, 2015, from
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