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Art Worlds by Howard S. Becker

By Howard S. Becker

This vintage sociological exam of paintings as collective motion explores the cooperative community of providers, performers, buyers, critics, and shoppers who—along with the artist—"produce" a piece of paintings. Howard S. Becker appears on the conventions necessary to this operation and, prospectively, on the volume to which artwork is formed via this collective job. The ebook is carefully illustrated and up to date with a brand new discussion among Becker and eminent French sociologist Alain Pessin concerning the prolonged social approach during which artwork is created, and with a brand new preface within which the writer talks approximately his personal approach in developing this influential paintings.

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We think it important to know who has that gift and who does not because we accord people who have it special rights and privileges. At an extreme, the romantic myth of the artist suggests that people with such gifts cannot be subjected to the constraints imposed on other members of society; we must allow them to violate rules of decorum, propriety, and common sense everyone else must follow or risk being punished. The myth suggests that in return society receives work 15 • ART WORLDS AND COLLECTIVE ACTIVITY of unique character and invaluable quality.

Of course there is not in this any evidence that I might not have succeeded a second time as I succeeded before, had I gone on with the same dogged perseverance .... Another ten years of unpaid unflagging labour might have built up a second reputation. But this at any rate did seem clear to me, that with all the increased advantages which practice in my art must have given me, I could not at once induce English readers to read what I gave to them, unless I gave it with my name. (Trollope, 1947, pp.

We can rephrase this: do we conventionally recognize the author as providing something special in the making of the work, something no one else could provide? If audience members believe the author has done that, they will naturally defer to his or her intentions in their responses. But they may not think so; the performers of and listeners to jazz evidently do not think that the composers of jazz standards merit any special deference with respect to how their songs should be played. Participants in the making of art works may agree as to whose intentions-author's, interpreter's, or audience'stake priority, in which case the issue creates no theoretical or practical difficulty.

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